Monday 19 November, 2018

Elderly can help bring down health bill

BWU and the Ministry of Health have launched a programme that targets BWU’s retirees and aims to help them live healthier.

Dubbed the ‘Healthy Living’ project - the initiative provides health and lifestyle counselling for union members who are 65 years and over.

It was launched at Solidarity House yesterday.

Addressing the audience at the opening ceremony Senior Medical Officer of Health (Chronic Diseases) Dr. Kenneth George said the programme is aimed also at empowering persons to live a healthy lifestyle, noting how pleased he was that the BWU was not only focused on its active workforce, but those who have over the years contributed in some way to the workforce in Barbados.

He says this programme is even more timely since 90 percent of people 65 years and older have at least one risk factor for Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), while one-third have at least one NCD.

“There may only be 10 persons who can say, ‘I don’t have diabetes’, ‘I don’t have hypertension’, ‘I am not overweight’, so I am telling you, it is a very small number in this room that can make that claim, because the burden in this age group is certainly very, very high.”

Barbados, he hinted that we are facing a crisis when it comes to the prevalence of NCDs, but while this is so, he says all is not lost.

“When I say we are in crisis what I really mean is that the population itself has so much risk going on in it and this can’t be changed very easily and requires interventions not only from government, but from the individual.”

According to Dr. George it is never too late to incorporate simple lifestyle changes to make a difference and he urged those present to take the programme seriously and make those changes if they have not started already.

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