Sunday, April 21, 2024

Belize observes International Day of Older Persons


October 1st, is celebrated around the world as the international day of older persons, this year it’s celebrated under the theme ‘Journey to Age Equality’. This theme calls us to join international and national efforts to ensure that all persons have equal access to meeting their basic needs throughout the life course; specifically for older persons whose needs are often not considered a priority.

In observance of the International Day of Older Persons, the National Council on Ageing launched its Front Ah Di Line Campaign and host the first National Ageing Expo at the Ramada Princess Hotel on October 1st. The Front Ah Di Line Campaign is an initiative by the National Council on Ageing (NCA) to ensure that the rights and specific needs of older persons, persons with disabilities, pregnant women and parents with infants are considered by service providers as well as to build a culture of respect and consideration for their needs.

The National Council on Ageing will partner with banks, utility companies, bus companies and other key service providers to develop policies for priority access for older persons, persons with disabilities, pregnant women and parents with infants through the establishment of designated lines or special service counters as well as priority boarding and seating.

According to the Executive Director of the National Council on Ageing, Ms. Ix-Chel Poot, “persons 60 years and older represent over 6% (19,810) of Belize’s population (SIB 2010), over 4% of the population (13,747 persons) have a disability (ECLAC, 2009) and annually, pregnant women represent 8% (7,800) of women of child-bearing age (MOH). Providing easier access to these vulnerable groups reduces social exclusion, allows them to be more independent in conducting their own business transactions and reduces the risk of abuse of finances by family members.” She further explains that “providing priority access to services promotes a culture of respect and consideration for older persons and makes them more visible in society.”

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