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Scotia Insurance caters to special needs

Published:Monday | October 6, 2014 | 10:00 AM
Lana Forbes FILe
Judith Patrick, financial advisor, Scotia Insurance, shares a moment with Diandra Roberts at the recently held Special Needs Legal and Financial Planning Seminar. The interactive seminar addressed issues facing family members with special needs and chronically ill children, including: financial and legal planning, accessing government resources and family counselling. Contributed
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Scotia Insurance continues to demonstrate its commitment to Jamaica's special needs community through their sponsorship of the Special Needs Legal and Financial Planning Seminar, held recently at the Therapy Plus - Digicel Foundation Special Needs Hub on Hillcrest Avenue.

The interactive seminar addressed issues facing family members with physically challenged and chronically ill children, including advice on financial and legal planning, accessing government resources and family counselling.

Lana Forbes, director of sales and service at Scotia Insurance, during her presentation spoke of the special issues facing families with physically challenged. "They may not be able to be enrolled in a traditional school, they may have specific medical, physical and mental needs. These factors can become financially daunting to parents and caregivers. However, a sound financial plan can give you a sense of security for you and your child," Forbes said.

Hoeta Birnell, mother of six-year-old Diandra who has Downs syndrome, explained that as the parent of a child with special needs, she constantly worries who will care for Diandra should something happen to her.

"Diandra is a very special child with very specific needs. These can be time consuming and costly. Although she has older siblings who help with her care, as her mother, I worry what will happen to her if I am not here to take care of her. This seminar has given me a wealth of information on how to better secure Diandra's future. Some of the topics discussed here today are things that I had never considered. I am now looking into taking out a retirement plan," Birnell said.

Studies show that approximately 10 per cent of Jamaicans are disabled and 82 per cent of these individuals are living below the poverty line. The seminar highlighted that it is imperative for parents with special needs children to secure their children's future, even beyond their own life spans, by making wise financial choices.

"Children with special needs must become increasingly integrated into the Jamaican society and Scotiabank firmly believes that financial security is a vital tool in providing them with a wholesome life," said Simone Walker, director, marketing programmes, Scotiabank.

"Scotia Insurance provides a range of services to fit every budget and every stage of life." These include health insurance, life insurance, retirement planning and a wide variety of investment opportunities. Whatever your needs, a Scotia Insurance Advisor can help you create a financial portfolio to meet them," Walker added.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com