Think back to the last time you were in line at the supermarket impatiently waiting for an elderly lady to finish cash for her groceries as she told the cashier about the last visit from her son four months ago. Would you have felt differently had you known that this would be her only social interaction for the week? Social isolation of the elderly is a growing problem in developing countries, which often leads to loneliness, depression and fear. Numerous studies have linked loneliness with poor health and early death.
The aim of the Ste. Madeleine Health Centre’s Senior Citizens Recreational Camp is to encourage the retired senior clients from the area to forge friendships with each other to counteract loneliness and to improve the health and social well-being of elderly persons in the Ste. Madeleine district.
On Tuesday 12th April, 2016, the group embarked on a day of fun and sightseeing at the Chaguaramas Boardwalk, followed by a visit to Fort George where they shared healthy foods and homemade desserts as they picnicked under the shade of the trees. The day climaxed with a visit to the National Museum and Art Gallery. This visit stirred up memories as the groups’ members reminisced about their childhood upon seeing some of the artifacts, such as kitchen utensils, old books and old newspapers clippings from their youth. The group continues to meet the second Friday of every month with DHV Erica Christom and staff at the Ste. Madeleine Health Centre for health-related sessions, and to socialize and plan future get-togethers.
In Photo: The Ste. Madeleine Health Centre's staff and its Senior Citizens Recreational Camp at the Chaguaramas Boardwalk.