Old folks law gives teeth to policy

| 01/03/2017 | 25 Comments
Cayman News Service

Minister Osbourne Bodden presents the Older Persons Bill in the LA

(CNS): Following the launch of a policy to promote the interests and protect the rights of pensioners and those over 65 years old, the Legislative Assembly has now passed the legislation to support the policy. The bill presented by Community Affairs Minister Osbourne Bodden will pave the way for a council to advocate for the needs of elderly people, a volunteer register and to prevent discrimination. The law was widely supported by both sides of the House and was described as the first step towards a positive regime looking out for older folks, especially as their numbers grow.

Joey Hew, the government backbench member for George Town, pointed out that at the end of 2015 there were 4,040 Caymanians aged 65 and over, representing more than 6.7% of the population, and that figure was an increase on the previous year of nearly 6%, demonstrating the rapid growth in the numbers of people who will be classified as “older persons” by government.

Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush offered his full backing to the government legislation and pointed out during the debate that passing the legislation demonstrated how much older people were appreciated, a sentiment echoed and supported by most of the members.

There was considerable support on both the government and opposition benches for promoting a skills bank and seeing post retirement people who want to go back to work given the chance to do so and to share their skills and take up training if they wanted to. Arden McLean (East End) said they could start at the government building employing older local people who are still fit to escort visitors instead of paying foreign security guards.

Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell said that the Department of Tourism was already employing local older people at the airport as ambassadors to assist tourists with general questions and information.

The idea of a discount package for over 65’s was also raised by several members and Finance Minister Marco Archer said he would be happy to sit down with the members and agree a way forward to try and cut duties or fees for older people, which would serve as an example to the private sector to follow suit.

Minister Bodden said that the goal was to formally protect older people and help them live with dignity. He said this was the first legislative step, after which his ministry and the council, which will be chaired by an older person, could begin implementing actions, and there would be more laws and regulations coming to shape the future for the growing demographic in Cayman.

The older person’s policy was launched by the ministry in November. Officials have said the main goals are to ensure older people get access to safe and secure housing, healthcare, leisure and education opportunities, that their basic needs are met, and they are protected from emotional, financial and physical abuse.

See full debate on the older persons bill on CIGTV video below starting at 1:02 and see the bill in the CNS Library

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Category: Community, Laws, Local News, Politics

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m more in favour of the Logan’s Run approach.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is wonderful news. The elderly always get taken advantage of by the greedy family members who most times donnot wait until they receive inheritance. In other cases, when the family are unsure whether they will get inheritance or not and others feel they should get something, then orchestrate stealing it when the elderly is in a vulnerable state.

  3. Dead Wrong says:

    WTF are these people smoking? The young and the old should be classed on the same playfield. Why does a young unprepared Caymanian have to go through these issues, when your old and hopefully wise, pension funded, resourceful selves cannot? Get over it, Cayman was built by a greedy old generation, who created a new generation which they do not see or care to understand. These are the people in power, politics, business, these are the ones who are still being protected. I think its the fear of their wrongs and bad minded ways coming back to haunt them why they keep the new generation handicapped.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am a 86 years old local and suffer the indignity of being “patted down” by the airport security every time I leave the island and I don’t think that I look that much like a terrorist!
    Seriously, in the United States and most other countries in the world, Senior Citizens get treated with respect at airports, but that does not happen in the Cayman Islands as far as I am concerned, do other Senior Citizens get treated this way?

  5. Nunya says:

    This is an awesome first step and I’m so happy to hear it. They can support this now by with a wider public education that in Cayman there is no official “retirement age” save that of the Government (civil servants – which I believe is now 65 – and in my opinion that is also a mistake). So companies stop “retiring” people at 60/65> who are still physically able to work. Who do they think the burden is going to fall on when people can’t afford to survive – that’s right the government.
    There are many elements in our laws to protect us, but people don’t know their rights or are afraid to fight back and companies use 60/65 to push them out. The poor attempt as pension in this country is not enough to survive on. Further, if Caymanians can’t get a job at working age, why do we think companies will be willing to hire one they feel to be retirement age. It needs to be stopped before they are pushed out.
    My 2 cents.

    • Anonymous says:

      The labour law says, $6.00 per hour min. but also the hotels/Resturants etc. only have to pay $4.50,because they say the workers gets tips. some of these places don’t pay any tips or very little. If they had to pay the $6 per hour (like i have to pay my helper) plus tip from the Guests, more Caymanians would work in these hotels/resturants, Remember Pension, vacation, Holidays, sick leave is not payed on tips, so at the end Govt,. will have to take care of these Caymanians , for pension payed on $4.50 p. H.can’t support any old person,.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Financial abuse – pray tell how will that get enforced? An easier way for the elderly or the elders family members to get legal aid? Once the money has been stolen, how can anyone take it to court?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I want an insurance policy that covers my health ,dental and eye care for no more then CI$250. I want cheaper rent no more then $CI 700 for my wife and I. I want to buy groceries where a banana or a mango doesn’t cost $.45 cents for a banana and $2.50 for one mango. I want to pay no more then $100 for electricity, $50 for water and $50 for 200 channels on TV including internet and phone. When I get these necessities I’ll vote for you !These are the prices I can pay all over Latin America. Why are we so G#$%^^m high? Greed!!! There is no other answer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whilst I agree with the sentiment on prices here, the price gouging and clear monopolies and cartels that are rife, I don’t think you should be selling your vote for that- you will end up with someone like Trump who promises large and delivers even more of the same.

      • Anonymous says:

        Trump is a good president , you will see, i hope we get some politicians, like him that is not afraid to do something like dropping the price of gasoline and food in this country.

      • Anonymous says:

        What is happening about Mr. Miller’s trying to raise the amount Caymanians can bring back home duty free, we is hoping that that goes through.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds ideal 2.34 am. Let’s move to Latin America.

    • Anonymous says:

      2:34am what do we manufacture or produce here? Paranahs!

  8. Anonymous says:

    They are passing all of these laws at the last minute. Who are they fooling with all of this? What have they been doing for 4 years? More than 60 new laws in 4 months. This is what those numbheads think is good governance. They do not go to the LA for months then they pass laws in a hurry with so many committee stage amendments that you wonder if they read the bills before they go the LA. smh smh. All that education and little sense. We see through the incompetence.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The electioneering has become so profoundly overt and grotesque yet no authority steps in to call it out. From “free passing” the criminal youth (and taking a break from chasing still-rampant wheelying dirt bikes), to suing the law firms, to whatever this is…discount packages to set an example for the private sector?!? Give me a break…what empty promises are our desperate buffoons going to propose next? How about free Turkey and bag of groceries to all the seniors in West Bay…oh wait McKeeva and his gang already did that at the Seniors Social in December!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Electioneering at it’s best. These bozos could have stepped up for the old folks 4 years ago. Instead, they made them suffer, and now they are pretending to come to the rescue. Shameful.

  11. Michel says:

    Great news. Thank you.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Does that mean old folk will be able to get teeth from the Government Hospital??

  13. Anonymous says:

    This sounds like a rather crude attempt to buy the ‘grey’ vote. If measures like this are going to work they need to be backed up by a proper social care programme and right now there’s no evidence of that.

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