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Seniors to get guidance on opportunities available

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Tinée Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, with the Ageing Well Committee at the Botanical Gardens yesterday (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A committee launched to address challenges faced by seniors is set to produce a guide to help older Bermudians to get access to available opportunities.

Tinée Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, said the Ageing Well Committee has been tasked with producing a guide of benefits for seniors and steer a public awareness campaign on ageing well.

“Sometimes it can be very difficult navigating through various services. You have to go to this place for one thing, this place for another,” she said.

“It’s helpful to know where the information is actually located so that persons are not having to go all over the place to gather information.”

Ianthia Simmons-Wade, the committee chairwoman, said: “In the guide you will have various facilities, organisations and businesses that do things for seniors that we don’t necessarily know about.

“What we want to be able to have is information so that any senior will know about a service, a discount or anything that a business or organisation does for our seniors. Something that’s very comprehensive.”

Ms Furbert said the committee was established by the Government in 2017 to help to establish the guidelines for the island’s care and nursing homes.

“In alignment with global trends, Bermuda is experiencing an ageing population,” she said. “Our 2016 census shows that there are 10,704 seniors aged 65 and older, with seniors accounting for 17 per cent of Bermuda’s population.

“By the year 2026, it is projected that roughly 25 per cent of our population will be older than 65.

“Based on this rising trend and building on the work previously done, the Ageing Well Committee will be directly engaged with matters related to improving the wellbeing of Bermuda’s seniors.”

She said the committee will make recommendations to the ministry on “existing and emerging” ageing-related issues and best practice protocols, conduct research and host events to support ageing issues.

Ms Simmons-Wade added: “Ageing has an impact on us all, and I hope as a community we work together to make this an age-friendly community.”

She said that since its creation five years ago, the committee has advised and provided suggestions to various government ministries, championing increased pensions, FutureCare benefits and accessibility.

“Even though it comes specifically from ministries, these are the sorts of things that we encourage the various ministries to do to improve the lives of seniors,” Ms Simmons-Wade said.

“We are not taking credit for it all because it is the ministry, but in the background we are looking at various things that will make a difference for our seniors.”

She said that while people think about issues such as healthcare when considering an ageing population, there are other challenges that also arise.

Ms Simmons-Wade said: “When you have an ageing population, you have to think about things like transportation, so when grandma can’t drive any more she can still get to the grocery store.

“Ageing impacts every ministry in this Government. That is why we focus on ageing to ensure our seniors don’t break the bank in terms of additional services that we have to provide.

“Seniors are living longer and many with chronic illnesses. They can’t age in place, they can’t stay at home, so there are a lot of challenges that will impact every ministry.”

The Minister of Social Development and Seniors, Tinée Furbert, and Ianthia Simmons-Wade discussed the Ageing Well initiative at Botanical Gardens yesterday

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Published February 02, 2023 at 7:39 am (Updated February 02, 2023 at 7:39 am)

Seniors to get guidance on opportunities available

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