(CNS): The community affairs minister has announced that Cabinet has approved a policy that will deal with the issues directly impact people over the age of 65 years old for the next two decades. Government is expected to release the full policy document Monday but in statement released by the ministry, Osbourne Bodden said the policy identifies gaps in key areas of service delivery and will pave the way for legislation to manage the quality of life and services for old folk. The policy also calls for the establishment of a Council for Older Persons.
“It will encompass all aspects of life, including lifelong education and training on ageing, family and community-based support services, levels of autonomy and self-fulfillment, gender issues, health, employment, and legal protection,” the minister said, adding that the policy was developed based on input from many stakeholders.
The minister also pointed to the focus on legislation to support the policy to make it effective.
“With Cabinet’s approval of this policy, agreement was also given for the development of legislative drafting instructions for the creation of a bill to support and achieve the vision of advancing the well-being of older persons,” Bodden said and pointed to a planning task force that will develop an implementation action plan.
“Critical to the implementation of this policy, the establishment of a Council for Older Persons and a supporting secretariat will be identified and enshrined in the older persons legislation,” Bodden stated. ”The key focus of this council will be to promote the needs and welfare of older persons, monitor policy implementation and advocate for legislative reform where necessary. It is expected that the council will be comprised of older persons, civil society stakeholders and public/private sector representatives.”
The minister stated that to achieve the vision and effective implementation of the policy government agencies, civil society and the private sector will need to cooperate and collaboration, as he pointed to a target date of March next year to complete the action plan.