Preparations underway for the Month for Older Persons

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The ministry of Older Persons Affairs is in the middle of preparations for the launch of Directie Ouderenzaken – the Department for Older Persons Affairs. The goal is to centralize all efforts to improve the response to the variety of challenges faced by the 60+ community. It will also ensure to increase accessibility to services for care, and to stimulate participation and well being of our older persons.

During the past weeks different meetings were held and visits were paid to stakeholders to present the policy for older persons. Minister of Older Persons Affairs, Mr. Ursell Arends elaborated on his vision, which is directed on optimizing participation in the community, in a wide sense.

On Wednesday the 21st of September he visited Fundashon Hospice Atardi and Stichting Thuiszorg Aruba (STA), where he received a tour of the installations as well as information on the service offered by each of these organizations. Hospice Atardi is specialized in palliative care, 24/7 for people in the last stage of their life. A place to alleviate suffering with respect for the privacy of the guest and where family can also visit, care in a home environment. STA currently has 27 clients and they showed they are focused on continuous improvement of the quality of care offered to our older persons.

“Once we have a family member in a care home, it’s up to us as family to visit them, take care of them and continue giving them the love that they deserve”, minister Arends expressed.

During a meeting with the Organization of Public Pensioners Aruba (OPPA), they brought forward different points of concern, among others, accessibility for wheelchairs, funds for activities and control at care homes.
Arends informed them about a pilot project currently ongoing in the care homes to ensure quality of service. This project was presented to the groups in charge of these institutions on Monday 12th of September. The minister is also in conversation with Horacio Oduber Hospital to give the care homes access to a geriatric doctor.

Regarding funds for activities, the Government of Aruba invested in the project “Safe Barios” to allocate more funds to neighborhood organizations to organize more activities. This includes activities for our older persons to stimulate positive participation.