The Ministry of Health and Social Development is considering to merge various senior citizens programmes in the British Virgin Islands.
Chief Social Development Officer Annie Malone-Frett made the announcement when she appeared before the Standing Finance Committee recently.
Her remarks follow an inquiry by Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull on the status of the territory’s senior programmes.
Turnbull said it is imperative to keep the local elderly engaged because they are susceptible to fatal stress and other post-hurricane related deaths.
Currently, there are senior programmes in each district. Malone-Frett said coupled with considerations to merge the programmes, there will be other changes at the various community centres where these senior programmes usually operate.
She said the Social Development Department is assessing the possibility of paying a salary to centre managers and providing them with a ‘stipend’ to run these senior programmes, as opposed to the present arrangement where the senior programmes are run under her department.
Status on centres
In the meantime, Malone-Frett said the 2017 hurricanes wreaked havoc on all the community centres where the senior programmes were held.
As such, she said the Carrot Bay seniors have been operating at the privately owned Seventh-day Adventist Youth Centre and the team from the Brewers Bay community are expected to join them.
In terms of the East End senior programme, Malone-Frett said operations have resumed and close to 20 seniors are currently engaged there.
She also said the Road Town community centre has not yet resumed operations.
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