Wednesday, April 27 2011 @ 03:32 PM AST
Contributed by: JayeAnne
The following is the address delivered by the Honourable Nizam Baksh, Minister of Community Development, at the launch of the GAPP Cycle I
I am very proud to be present at the formal launch of Level One of the Geriatric Adolescent Partnership (GAPP). This programme has been in operation for the past seventeen (17) years, training young people to meet the needs of the elderly in their community.
The Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme is designed to sensitise young people to the ageing process and help them, through training and field visitation, to develop practical skills in geriatric care.
The programme has two levels:
Level One targets young people between seventeen (17) and twenty five (25) years old and teaches skills in caring for young adults as well as the elderly.
Level Two provides training to persons between eighteen (18) and thirty (30) years old about the psychological and physiological changes in the ageing process.
Today, the Ministry of Community Development formally launches the Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme - Level One which will target younger participants and teach the basics in caring for the elderly. For fourteen (14) weeks, Level One participants would be exposed to five main areas of Training:
- Nutrition/Home Management Skills
- Practicum Community Visits
- Nursing Aide Skills
- Life Skills; and
- Electives such as Parenting, Fit for Life practices, Financial Management.
Over the years, hundreds of persons have benefited from the training that helps to prepare participants for careers in Geriatric Care, and in the case of the advanced level, to help participants upgrade their caregiving skills.
This programme has been in existence for over a decade, and that period has been characterised by consistent improvements.
This is why I am pleased to announce today that I approached the Cabinet and Cabinet has agreed to increase the monthly stipend for geriatric caregivers from $1800 to $2500 commencing May 2011. We have also increased the number of caregivers from four hundred (400) to six hundred (600).
This year, participants will not only be going out to the senior citizens, but the seniors will also come into nine (9) centres for sessions that will encourage them to embrace active living. We are trying to put programmes for the elderly to be more proactive and in the process reduce their doctor bills.
There will also be in-service training for the present caregivers in four (4) districts – North, South, East and Central to ensure that their care giving skills are up to date. This is a useful initiative. We consider this necessary for those who are already trained to keep abreast with skills and expertise in care giving. Our graduates should be exposed to continuous training.
GAPP is aligned to the Ministry of Community Development’s strategy to deliver sustainable, developmental programmes to communities. GAPP is one programme that achieves this goal. It is a mutually beneficial course in which young people in our communities learn lifelong, practical skills and Senior Citizens benefit from their care and attention.