Minister of Community Development Winston Peters accepts a token from Patricia Henderson-Browne, Coordinator of the Ministry’s Planning and Implementation Unit, at yesterday's launch of the Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme (GAPP) Training Programme.
480 to be trained to care for the elderly
Sue-Ann Wayow Express South Bureau
SOME 480 young persons between the ages of 17 and 25 will embark on a 14 week training session geared towards taking proper care of the elderly in the country.
The Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme (GAPP) Training Programme 2013 - Level I/ Cycle I was officially launched yesterday.
The launch took place at the Mafeking Community Centre. Minister of Community Development Winston Peters delivered the feature address.
The Ministry is responsible for GAPP.
Peters said the programme will be able to contribute to social change as young persons interact with the elderly.
He said, "This is the only programme which performs the significant role of facilitating mutual support for our youth and elderly population. Our elderly must be treasured and encouraged to impart their wisdom and experience to our vulnerable young people.We are now faced with a rapidly growing aging population which means that there is a serious need for us, as policymakers and citizens, to act and meet the needs of our older population."
Peters said, "The GAPP programme allows for positive interaction, developed and sustained, during the formal and practical training sessions thereby fostering a complete experience. This experience will enable our young trainees to build character and also aid in strengthening their resolve for community and national service and more importantly, service to the elderly."
The minister also encouraged young men to be a part of the programme. Six men are registered for the programme. "I personally would like to encourage young men to get involved and to stop taking a back seat. Our society needs these young men".
Participants will be trained in various areas such as life skills, nutrition and home management, nursing aid skills and career enhancement. Training will take place in eight community centres across Trinidad.
These include, Mafeking, Duranta Gardens, Waterloo, La Gloria, Cumana, Gulf View, Warrenville, and Upper Malabar. Peters said many graduates from the GAPP programme were pursuing degrees in Social sciences, Hospitality and Nursing and more than 50 percent of geriatric caregivers were also graduates.