NEWS

Workshop To Address Elderly Care During Natural Disasters

“Fijians are not only living longer but are also living with disability and are more likely to need some help in their day-to-day living.
24 Nov 2021 13:34
Workshop To Address Elderly Care During Natural Disasters
Third from left: Piers Home chairperson Hassan Khan and stakeholders of the workshop initiated by the National Council for Older Persons involving caregivers from various age care facilities including the Department of Social Welfare at Ro Lalabalavu House in Suva on November 23, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar

A workshop to plan response efforts for the elderly in times of natural disasters has been initiated by the National Council for Older Persons and the Department of Social Welfare.

Social Welfare Department director Rupeni Fatiaki there is little to no focus on the needs of the elderly during natural disasters.

The outcome of this workshop was to have a draft outline on how the needs of the elderly can be incorporated into responses during natural disasters.

“Fiji has only eight aged-care facilities. Aligned to the risks of encountering natural disasters as a region prone to such, it is only proper that emphasis is placed on better planning to prepare, respond and recover from the aftermath of natural disasters,” he said.

“Fijians are not only living longer but are also living with disability and are more likely to need some help in their day-to-day living.

“According to the Fiji Census in 2017, Fijians aged 60 plus comprise 10.6 per cent of the total population (80,483 Older Fijians), while people living with disability made up 12.8 per cent of the total population (113,595 Fijians).”

Of the 80,483 older Fijians only 0.2 per cent live in aged care facilities.

The consultation was the first-of-its-kind.

Mr Fatiaki said it was important that the aged care sector worked closely with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) to have a first -hand appreciation of the current plans and measures that are available for better co-ordination to manage disasters as and when it occurs.

“It is also timely to bring the interests, concerns or needs and needs not met of the aged or older persons in the preparation, response and recovery measures of disasters,” he said.

“Quite often our elders are victims of the lack of co-ordination.”

The two-day workshop held at Ro Lalabalavu House, includes stakeholders from the aged-care sector.

Feedbackshalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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