Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 06, 2017 (SKNIS): Home help care services around the world have been helping older persons with their everyday life for years and St. Kitts and Nevis is no different.
The Government’s Home Help Programme has been around since 2001 and has succeeded in making older persons feel loved and appreciated. No stone is left unturned as the programme covers the entire island.
Home Care Officer, Andre Caines, has rendered her service for 16 years and is enthusiastic about her work. Though it may be hard at times, it is a labour of love.
Services include taking the older persons to the doctor or hospital for routine check-ups and for complaints of other ailments. They comb and cut their hair and nails. Breakfast and a light lunch are also prepared for them.
Ms. Caines said that sometimes the officers go beyond the call of duty by even washing their clothes. Also, they sometimes take the person who is in their care shopping, as well as to the bank and the Social Security Office. Some workers even go every day to the older person’s home instead of three days a week. Some even work past 4:00 P.M.
The home care officer said that there needs to be more participation from family members in terms of caring for their loved ones. She noted that it is unsettling that the older persons are often only looked after when the officer comes. She called for families to step-up and help care for the ones who have been instrumental in their lives.
In order for a person to qualify for the programme, an assessment is done to determine an individual’s medical history and whether or not they can afford private health care services. Persons must be 65 and older.
There are currently 17 home care workers throughout the island; four of them are from the Skills Training and Empowerment Programme (STEP).