Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny
Anthony has expressed concern about how the nation’s elderly is being treated by
society and in particular, their families. Dr. Anthony, using the platform of
his weekly radio address, Conversation With the Nation, said what was
particularly worrisome was the large number of elderly persons living alone,
“Many tell me, with sadness in their eyes and their voices, that they have
children who, unfortunately, for whatever reasons, have turned their backs on
them. Some complain that they feel abandoned, left alone to fend for themselves.
Some admit that their children have jobs – in some cases well-paying jobs – but
they offer little support. Not unusually, some even apologize for their
children. They explain that their children have their own families to look
after, so they are unable to offer them much help,” Dr. Anthony told the nation.
The Prime Minister questioned the notion of ‘how son or daughter could abandon
their own mother or father – or even a grandmother or grandfather for that
matter.’ Dr. Anthony said this kind of attitude towards the elderly must be
radically examined. He said the elderly should not be seen as miserable or
troublesome old people.
“To date, this Government has either built or repaired 280 homes for elderly
persons throughout St. Lucia. We have abolished the payment of Property Tax for
persons who are in receipt of NIS pensions. We have increased the subventions to
the homes that look after our elderly. Since being in office, we have increased
the amounts of Public Assistance – and we will do it again. To be sure, more can
be done and more will be done, by this Government, as time progresses,” Dr.
Dr. Anthony said younger folks must realise that they too, will get old someday
and wouldn’t want to be treated that way.