According to the Department of Social and Community Development, at present there are some 352 residents who are formally benefiting from the services provided under the program.
The Department recently shared that 64 of these clients suffer from Hypertension while 56 are affected by Diabetes. Other medical problems being confronted are related Eye Issues, Arthritis, Heart Issues, Asthma, Ulcers, Hearing, Depression, and Cancer.
When the Home Care program was established some 10 years ago on 1st January, 2001, 18 women were employed to help service the health care needs of persons who are not actively involved in the productive sector, said a release from the Community Development Department.
The service is currently opened to any resident or national who is in need of varying degrees of care at home, owing to ageing, illness, and retirement. Those now in the program, range in ages from 20-over 100 years old. From the 352 clients, 113 are males while 239 are females. The majority are senior citizens though, with 137 who are between 80-89 years; 93 are between 70-79 years; 57 between ages 90-99 and 43 with unknown ages. Only two persons are between 20-49 years; 15 between 60-69 years and 5 a hundred years or over.
The bulk of these citizens reside in the rural parts of the island, mainly in Constituency #6 with 67; Constituency #8 with 57; and Constituency #7 with 44. Constituencies 1-5 have 32, 31, 28, 27 and 25 respectively. The official residence for another 41 is unknown.
Whereas in the early years, the Home Care Officers visited the various communities and sought elders who qualified for assistance, today clients are referred by various government ministries, including Health through the Health Centers. They are also referred by Parliamentary Representatives for the particular districts, community groups, family members, concerned citizens and organizations generally.
Those in the Home Care Program are provided with companionship, personal care, medical assistance, household care and some general services.
October has been declared the Month of the Elderly in St. Kitts and Nevis with various activities planned to celebrate the occasion.