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Pilot programme launched for Active Ageing Transport Service on St. Maarten


HOPE ESTATE–The pilot programme for the Active Ageing Transportation Service for the elderly and mentally challenged was launched on Thursday when the first set of persons were transported to the Senior Citizens Recreation Center in Hope Estate.

Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Cornelius de Weever also signed the contracts with Helping Hands Foundation, the Golden Men and Women Foundation and Accessible Ventures NV, which will be providing the transportation service in the pilot phase.

A total of 21 seniors and mentally challenged persons are part of the pilot programme, which will run for two months following which the programme will be assessed.

The service will be provided at no cost to participants. Government will pay each transportation company for the services of seven persons assigned to them. Seniors and the mentally challenged can use the service to make medical trips for appointments with their doctors, specialists, physical therapists and other medical professionals; trips to the pharmacy; trips to places, such as utilities company GEBE, TelEm and UTS, to pay their bills; trips to collect their pension and financial assistance, and visit the bank; and trips to do their grocery shopping and visit social clubs or foundations each week. They can also use it to attend church service, visit family and friends, and go do volunteer work.

The project was launched under the auspices of the Departments of Social Development, Public Health, Social Services and Community Development, Family and Humanitarian Affairs.

Active Ageing refers to trends all over the world in which the elderly are part of and involved in the communities that they live in. They are connected to their societies and are sometimes also contributing to development in their communities. Governments play a role in ensuring that seniors and the physically challenged are connected to their communities and they have a good standard of living, it was stated in a press release from the minister’s Cabinet.

Persons who want to register for the programme after the pilot phase can do so at the office of the Senior Citizen Recreational Centre in Hope Estate or call tel. 543-0170.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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