St Lucia: Govt reviews National Policy for older persons
St Lucia: Govt reviews National Policy for older persons

St Lucia: The Government has commenced efforts to review and update the National Policy for Older Persons for Saint Lucia. The National Policy for Older Persons was first developed in 2003 and revised in 2013.

The policy will ensure that the requirements for healthy ageing are addressed and that older persons live in dignity and with security, free from exploitation and physical or mental abuse and treated with care regardless of age, gender or socioeconomic status.

National efforts toward a suitable policy will be informed by the global policy agenda outlined by the United Nations and adopted by CARICOM and the World Health Organization. In addition, the National Policy for Older Persons will also examine all relevant national policies in the health sector and other related sectors.

The policy development process is participatory. At each stage of this process, technical staff, community representatives and the general public will be involved in public dialogue using multi-media platforms such as radio and television, blogs and virtual town hall meetings. The national dialogue will focus on identifying issues and solutions at the community level and ensuring appropriate and satisfactory systems and strategies for national implementation.

Work has started and is ongoing in communities around the island. We have commenced dialogue with the homes for the elderly, elderly community groups and other support organisations. A blog has been developed to reach a wider cross-section of the population, and we encourage all Saint Lucians to bring forward their concerns, so your views can be incorporated into the policy. The blog link is as follows: https://agepolicyslu.baldguyvisuals.com/.

The public has been invited to contribute to the consultations to ensure that the review and updating of the existing policy reflect the needs of all, particularly the most vulnerable. The policy development exercise will be carried out over a three month period leading to the completion of the policy by mid-June 2022. Elderly St Lucians are invaluable; we must learn from them and create a more sensitive society as we focus on healthy ageing for all.