We must admit that dealing with the elderly either within the family or in an institution is quite a task. In the family circle, it may be a labour of love or a burden; in the institution, the care-givers should try to be professional if not loving.
Senior citizens’ homes cater mainly for persons who can be independent. There are cases where in these homes the inmates need medical attention and guidance, especially if they are visually impaired.
In such instances the personnel supervising them need to have some formal training to cater for the social and physical needs of the old folks. The University of Guyana has embarked on programmes of care of the elderly which are a great asset for those in the field.
Government should ensure that homes for the elderly are registered and carefully monitored, and that credible non-governmental organizations are entrusted with the welfare of these aged persons. Subventions should be given to well-run senior citizens’ homes. Proper nutrition is of great value.
The Palms is Guyana’s premier geriatric home where terminally ill persons among other types of cases are admitted. Well-trained nurses are needed for this tough job and the remuneration should be attractive.
It is a pity that some people at the Palms just wait for the ‘grim reaper’ to relieve them from their suffering.