GIS – 26 July 2013: A training programme for informal carers which will enable them to provide better care to the elderly and disabled persons was launched yesterday at Wooton Community Centre, in the presence of the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, Mrs. Sheilabai Bappoo.
This training programme makes provision for capacity building and training to people who look after the elderly and the handicapped. Consequently, it will help ensure that those involved in elderly care have the required basic skills. A carer is someone who looks after a person in need of assistance as a result of illness, frailty or disability.
A total of 50 carers will be trained during four half-days in each region to help them better tend to their elders at home. A similar training programme for participants from the North of the island kicked off in Pamplemousses yesterday.
In her speech, Mrs. Bappoo outlined Government’s vision which is to provide a healthy and dignified ageing to elderly persons. Government has put in lots of efforts to improve the standard of living of elderly people and aims at encouraging families to properly care for their elderly/handicapped parents at home, she said.
The elderly represent almost 13% of the total population, and in view of the ageing population, the Ministry proposes to train some 500 carers and informal carers. Government has embarked on a six-month training programme for formal carers since 2010 and as at date, a total of 160 have been trained.
Ageing is a major issue for the country and some Rs 10.1 billion are spent in terms of different pensions, said Mrs. Bappoo. Furthermore, Government provides a number of benefits and services to the elderly. With the ever growing demand for these services, more workers with specialised skills will be required to provide safe quality of care to the elderly, she added
According to the Minister, it is not the duty of Government alone to care for the well being of the elderly/handicapped. Non-governmental organisations, the society and more importantly, the family too have a key role to look after the welfare of its dependent members, particularly the elderly.