Caribbean Conference on Ageing, Elder Abuse and the Rights of Older Persons: Conclusions, and some observations

I attended this conference in Dominica (November 30-December 1), in my capacity as a director of the Caribbean Community of Retired Persons (CCRP).

The conclusions are clear and self-explanatory, and I include the official document here. Conclusions of the Caribbean Conference on Ageing, Elder Abuse and the Rights of Older Persons_Final.

As is often the case, the printed words barely reflect the emotions behind many of the points made. Many things struck me, as a slightly younger senior citizen. One was the reluctance of many politicians, who are themselves senior citizens, to stand squarely behind the concerns of, and policies to protect the rights of, older people. The average age of Jamaica’s current Cabinet is 60. That’s more than odd in my mind. Some participants noted how the elderly had become a strong and vocal political force in the UK in recent years. In that vein, it’s worth noting commentary about the Pensioners Manifesto in 2004 and a decade later how the issue of the political power of the older vote.

The obvious conclusion about the seeming indifference of older Caribbean politicians is that they are not suffering the same problems, notwithstanding the growing number of older voters. That seeming disconnection with the reality of a significant body of voters is not trivial. It’s also interesting if one believes that older people in households tend to have significant influence over others (younger people) in those households. Are politicians really just throwing away votes?

Another issue that does not get attention in the conclusion is the concerns about environmental change and the elderly. This is more than a little ironic given the recent experiences in Dominica after flooding caused by Tropical Storm Erika, and the many reports of how it had dislocated the lives of many elderly people and left many of them more vulnerable than before.

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)

2 thoughts on “Caribbean Conference on Ageing, Elder Abuse and the Rights of Older Persons: Conclusions, and some observations”

  1. Dennis, there is much food for thought here. As you know I wrote about the impact of climate change on older Jamaicans, after talking to seniors living in the Greenwich Farm area of Kingston. I totally agree with you – the older population is growing, are obviously not seen as a voter demographic by our aging leaders, and is there any government policy in place for older people?

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