Rudolph Hypolite, chairman of Tobago Association of the Elderly (TATE), is encouraging the elderly to utilise the senior citizens activity centres strategically placed across the island.
Speaking during the recommissioning ceremony for the Rockley Vale Senior Citizens Activity Centre last Thursday, Hypolite expressed thanks to the THA Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development on behalf of the Association, for the opportunity to manage the centre and the general support from the division in all of Tobago Association of the Elderly's pursuits.
He shared some of the association's achievements since its establishment, adding that it has participated in several health fairs, held several fundraisers and attended the elderly Caribbean conference last year.
“We have a co-ordinator for the centre, spruced up the interior and exterior and now we are re-commissioning the centre,” Hypolite said.
The Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development established the Tobago Association of the Elderly, which is a merger of elderly organisations throughout Tobago, representatives from the division and Facilities Review Committee.
In April 2019, the Tobago Association of the Elderly signed a memorandum of understanding with the division, which formalised an agreement for it to assist in the management of the Rockley Vale Senior Citizen’s Activity Centre. The expectation is that the Tobago Association of the Elderly will work on behalf of all elderly persons desiring support from the centre.
Secretary of the division Dr Agatha Carrington shared the importance of providing such a space for senior citizens.
“As we live, we age... we saw it (senior citizen activity centres) as important to contribute to the legacy we want,” she said.
She noted that with a population of over 8,000 persons over 60 years old in Tobago, “plans must be responsive to their needs,” which included providing such a space for recreation and other beneficial activities.
“Ensure to come to the centre for your home gardening, cooking, dancing, aqua therapy and intergenerational activities.”
The Secretary also shared several policies and activities instituted to support the elderly.
“We have engaged caregivers…we have set up a review committee for homes for elderly…we provide support through subventions…we will be hosting an elderly conference confronting the issue of elder abuse,” she said, adding that an additional social space for elderly recreational activities will soon be completed and handed over to the Tobago Association of the Elderly. She encouraged the association to be diligent and ensure proper use of the spaces they have inherited.