elderlyElderly people are now who you will one day become. Respecting their wisdom, knowledge, grace and fortitude, should come second nature to younger generations but it isn't always the case. Sometimes we need reminding of why it is so important to respect our elders for what they have to impart to us that will help ease our journey through life and for their contribution to society.


Based on these factors and many others, today is being celebrated as the United Nations International Day of Older Persons and in Belize, like so many countries around the world, this date is acknowledged by creating greater awareness of the concerns and needs of older persons. It is a day when many organizations in Belize, which work with and for older persons, focus on providing activities as a mark of respect and to make them feel special in their community. Here in the north Help Age Orange Walk held a free clinic for the older persons among other activities.


Arcelia Leiva- President Help Age Orange Walk

“We give it and then we earn it, Helpage Orange Walk celebrated with a dinner on Sunday where we hosted almost a hundred persons and on Tuesday we held  Tea party and today the health workers and doctors from the Northern Regional Hospital assisted us with a health clinic and there they took blood samples for glucose and the genera health for elders person so we also want to thank the nurses and doctors from the Regional Hospital for helping us on this occasion and we want to wish all the older folks in our community a very happy day.”


This year marks the 22nd Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons celebrated under the theme “The Future we want – what Older Persons are saying”. Here at home the day is being celebrated under the theme “Older Persons Deserve Respect and Protection.”

According to the President of Help Age Orange Walk, Arcelia Leiva, as the population of older persons is growing in Belize, the country needs to focus greater attention to older persons and listen to what they are saying.

Arcelia Leiva- President Help Age Orange Walk

“With this team we call on the whole community to give respect to the elders of our community and to protect them, it is our duty to respect and to protect them, we are sadden of the recent happening in our community where elders have been attacked by younger persons, so I want to use this opportunity to make a call on our community to do just that but in turn we ask our adult people, our older persons to also give respect to our young people to our children to always give them respect and also protect them when they need of us, so respect and protection goes both ways.”


Orange Walk Help Age has 110 older persons under their watch. They also have other members who are referred to as shut inns. In celebration of this day, the National Council on Ageing collaborated with PAHO, the Ministry of Health and the Mercy Care Centre on Monday 30th September to organize a training workshop entitled “Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease”.

The workshop was attended by health educators, community health workers, community police officers, residential home workers, psychiatric nurse practitioners and Alzheimer’s disease care givers.

Issues covered related to the social and clinical aspects of dementia, strategies for working with an Alzheimer’s patient and the provision of proper nutrition. It was acknowledged that since Alzheimer’s disease is going to increase in Belize greater emphasis should be placed on creating greater awareness and to improve the provision for the care of people suffering from the disease.

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