In a more modern architectural design which offers a very pleasing environment to the residents and staff of the Top Hill home for the elderly, the keys to this state of the art facility has been officially handed over.
The EC$1.3 million Caribbean Development Bank, Basic Needs Trust Fund, part six, funded project with twenty percent (20%) counterpart funding from the government, was officially unveiled last week Friday. Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and former Matron of the home, Lyborne Phillip simultaneously clipped the ribbon while BNTF’s, Evan Bhola handed the keys to the facility to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs, Bernadette Sylvester.
The Prime Minister said that senior members of the community, who have made such a profound contribution to the nation, must always be treated with respect and dignity and as Government; it’s their responsibility to ensure that they are given the conducive environment to age gracefully.
Minister for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs, Hon Elvin Nimrod, championed the cause of his government and praised the Caribbean Development Bank for remaining loyal to their commitment.
Sharing an example where a resident once begged him to allow them to return their original facility from the Nurses Hostel in Belair, the Minister pointed out that that tearful appeal entrenched itself into his heart, with a constant reverberation. Nimrod who is the deputy Prime Minister says that while they are known as the poor people government, they are there for everyone.
He called on the matron and staff to utilize the facility to its maximum potential by ensuring that the home is not just used as a building but as an institution to embrace the emotional and physiological needs of everyone.
Operations Manager of CDB, George Haywood, noted that the senior citizens who have made a telling contribution to the development of the economic and social landscape of the island deserve a respectable quality of life in their senior years. He said that the CDB has a firm commitment of projects like those which uplift societies, while presenting recurrent benefits to the community for years to come. He said that when considering the project, they had acknowledged that the burden of care of the elderly fell disproportionately on females, who also experience high rates of unemployment.
In the absence of family support and traditional networks, many of the elderly were found to be at risk of becoming destitute.
“This facility was designed within regional and international standards in line with the home policy of 2006” he told the large crowd.
BNTF’s Community Liaison Officer, Lyndonna Glasgow who deputized for Project Manager, Isaac Bhagwan gave a complete synopsis of the project relevant to its size, layout and indoor and outdoor facilities. She said that due to several delays, the project which was carded to be completed in September of 2014 wasn’t until February 2015 “some five months behind schedule”.
“This was due to several issues including the unavailability of materials and management issues” said Glasgow, “ however we are extremely pleased with the quality of work done by contractor Bernard Lendore of Lendore’s Construction Company and consultant, Timothy Bubb of Fafed Consultancy Firm.
Among the fully equipped areas of the facility she said was the construction of an additional cistern, to better cater to the fresh water needs of the home on an annual basis. The 3,026 square feet single storey building she said home has six double rooms, reception area, communal section, private section, kitchen, administrative among other departments.
Reference was also made to the contribution from the late Senator Jester Emmons and former Matron at the Home, Hyacinth Bedeau in ensuring that the project was on the way.
Remarks also came from Fr Clement Francis, who is a member of the home’s Management Board. Among those who witnessed the occasion was, Anna Brizan PS (acting) in the Department of Administration
The home currently has 15 residents of which nine are female and six are male.