Back

Older Persons Month Marks International Day of Older Persons

10 October 2018, 8:00 AM
General
radiocayman

International Day of Older Persons 2018 was celebrated with the launch of Older Persons Month and featured two seminars organised by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

The event held at the Family Life Centre, on  Monday 1st October, also included remarks from His Excellency the Acting Governor, Mr. Franz Manderson; Chief Officer for Community Affairs Teresa Echenique; the DCFS Director, Felicia Robinson and MLA for George Town Central, Kenneth Bryan. Other special guests included Councillor for Education and Youth, Finance and Economic Development, Barbara Conolly; former Social Services Directors, Deanna Lookloy and Gay Jackson; and the Chair and Deputy Chairperson of the Council for Older Persons, Lucille Seymour and Alice Mae Coe respectively.

Reinforcing the month’s theme of “Respecting the Wisdom and Value of Older People,” each speaker reflected on the tremendous determination, sacrifices and knowledge base of local senior citizens while encouraging the community to draw on these resources in everyday life.

The event attracted 250 older persons including 10 seniors from Cayman Brac.  The programme included both older persons and the young.  Pastor Marquiss McLaughlin, one of the 2018 Older Persons Month Ambassadors, gave the welcome prayer and a rendition of the National Song was delivered by Red Bay Primary School student Liana Wilks. Mr. Rupert Ackermon played two devotional songs on his guitar.

Students from Cayman Academy’s Reception Class entertained the audience with two songs accompanied by their teachers and a fellow student on the drums.

The keynote speaker, Ms Maureen Cubbon, was introduced as the award-winning chef and founder of local food movement BestLife.  She presented the audience with several ideas on backyard farming and championed the use of local produce for sustaining a healthy lifestyle.  She also encouraged older persons to incorporate seasonal, locally-sourced fruits and vegetables into meals and to choose local herbs to flavour food rather than salt. She spoke about the importance of understanding food labels, and knowing which oils were best for high and low temperature cooking. Ms Cubbon gave an on-stage cooking demonstration using local foods and provided attendees with a taster of her sweet potato and black bean vegetable hash.

One of the highlights of the event was the introduction of the Older Persons’ Month Ambassadors. The DCFS Director, Mrs. Robinson, explained that the six persons selected had been chosen in recognition of their exemplary service and leadership within their districts, especially in assisting older people.

Older Person’s Month Ambassadors Ms Alex Johnson, Mrs. Mexi-Ann Grant, Mr. Percival Whittaker and Pastor Marquiss McLaughlin received recognition plaques, as well as floral tributes from the Acting Governor, Councillor Conolly and Ms Echenique, with the Government’s gratitude for their continuing service. Mr. Rupert Ebanks and Ms Hope Foster were unable to attend the event but were acknowledged.

A seminar on advanced care planning, conducted by attorney Natasha Bodden of Sonia Bush and Associates, also attracted an audience. The comprehensive presentation covered many areas including giving instructions regarding their future personal care and estate management.

Before lunch, attendees had the opportunity to mix and mingle at the information booths set up by various service providers.  Staff from Hazard Management Cayman Islands gave tailored hurricane preparedness advice to elders; the Pines Retirement Home personnel shared information on their caregiver training programme; and Council for Older Persons representatives shared and collected information relevant to its skills registry.

Caring Hands Cayman also had a booth where older persons received blood pressure checks and information about care giving services and Deanna's Farm gave away fresh local produce.  Attendees were able to take away seedling plants compliments of the Department of Agriculture, while others sourced important information from the Family Resource Centre/Legal Befrienders.

The Public Service Pensions Board (PSPB) also had an information booth and offered giveaways. PSPB’s Chief Pensions Officer, Stephen Nichols, gave a sponsor message and blessed the meal served by members of the Lions Club of Grand Cayman.

Entertainment was provided by Michael Lemay, the JR Douglas Band and Mrs. Vernice Myles sang.

The DCFS appreciated the support shown for this event through the attendance of the older persons from districts across the Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. 

Older Persons Month’s main sponsors are Cayman National Bank, EY, the Public Service Pensions Board, Caribbean Utilities Company and the Cayman Islands National Museum.

Quick links
Talk Shows
Radio Cayman on facebook
Tweets