'Wellness not an option'
Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer
Chairman of the Caribbean Community of Retired Persons Limited (CCRP), Lascelles Chin, is reminding retirees that wellness is not an option but instead a mandatory goal for living a full life.
Chin was speaking at a wellness seminar attended by hundreds of retirees participating in discussions directed at bettering their health.
"Make it your priority to get as much information as possible about the tried and tested options available to you in terms of nutrition, relaxation ... and for physical and emotional well-being," Chin advised the elderly group at the seminar held under the theme 'Rev up your Retirement' at the Knutsford Court Hotel, St Andrew, on Tuesday.
He said, with more than 50 per cent of death and diseases in the country caused by chronic non-communicable diseases and persons in the 50-plus age group accounts for 31.9 per cent new cases of diabetes and 38.3 per cent of new hypertension cases seen in the island's public health facilities in 2008 to 2009, it is imperative to be more health conscious in order to live a better life.
"In order to stem the prevalence of some chronic non-communicable diseases and other illnesses, we all need to take ourselves more seriously ... . Therefore, I appeal to the communities, the public and private sectors and service clubs to collaborate and put measures in place to make it easier for our retirees to access health care," he said.
Professor Denise Eldemire-Shearer, professor of public health and ageing at the University of the West Indies, said one of the important factors in ageing is to know what is happening to the body, which is a normal and natural process.
She noted that healthy ageing is the ongoing activities and behaviours persons undertake to reduce the risk of illness and disease and increase their physical, emotional and mental health.
According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), there are currently more than 450,000 people in the 50-plus age group in Jamaica with further reports that the fastest-growing cohort of the population is those 65 years and older.
Jean Lowrie-Chin, chief executive officer of CCRP, said the mission of the group is to ensure that the vast talent, experience and wisdom of retired persons will be respected and that they will enjoy the quality of life they deserve.
She said CCRP will provide financial-planning advice, information on health and wellness, opportunities for volunteering as well as mentoring young persons, free educational seminars and many other benefits.
Seventy-nine-year-old Mavis McDonald, who participated in the workshop, said the workshop will help her to improve her standard of health.
She said she became a member of the group so she could be better informed about healthy living, so she could enjoy her retirement years.
The CCRP, which was recently launched, aims to be the vital resource for retired persons and those preparing for retirement.