Government today presented more than $60,000 to Residential Care Institutions to assist them with services for older persons.
This follows a grant agreement signing of the 2015 National Council for Older Persons Grants worth $66,708 to four established institutes for senior citizens by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Children and Poverty Alleviation.
While handing out the cheques, the Minister for Social Welfare, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar said that age is a crucial stage of human life cycle that “we all have to embrace.”
“The traditional family support systems that we rely on are becoming increasingly strained because Fiji’s family size continues to decline with a high dependency on cash based economy,” Minister Akbar said.
“The future might see an increase in the number of older persons being forced out of their homes and being cared for under state run residential homes for the elderly.”
According to the World Health Organization (2011), Fiji’s population will increase by 11.3% over the next two decades, reaching 958,000 by 2030 and the population aged 60+ is projected to exceed the younger population around 2050.
“The signing of the official grants today strengthens the government and stakeholder partnerships to formalize and elevate our service delivery platforms to serve our senior citizens,” Minister Akbar added.
Suva Relief Trust and Pearce Home residential manager, Ruci Kava said this is the second time the home was assisted by government.
“We are fortunate that government is being so generous with their assistance which has really boosted the development of the home and we have upgraded it to a higher standard,” Mrs Kava said.
“We have six people in the retirement home and this grant will boost the morale of the residents especially the care that we give.”
The Ba Senior Citizens received $15, 000 while Channel Home of Compassion, Housing Assistance Relief Trust (HART) and Suva Relief Trust and Pearce Home received $17, 000 each.