Social Services spreads early XMAS Cheer to Seniors Care Facilities

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Ms. Linda Smith, a member of the organizing committee, presents Ms. Sheena Mortimer (right), the Administrator of the Demetrius Centre with a Gift Basket during Wednesday’s visit. The Demetrius Centre was the first stop on a tour that took team members to the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged, the Mary Ingraham Inter-Generational Care Centre and the Nurse Naomi Christie Centre. Also pictured (at left) are: Mrs. Lilian Quant-Forbes, Director, Department of Social Services and Mrs. Lorraine Duvalier, Assistant Director, Department of Social Services with oversight for the Senior Citizens Division. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

A delegation of senior officials from the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development and the Senior Citizens Division, Department of Social Services, spent Wednesday afternoon providing “Christmas Cheer” to residents of four Senior Citizens Care Facilities in New Providence that are either operated outright by the Ministry or to which the Ministry provides an annual subvention.

The delegation was headed by Ms. Phedra Rahming, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, and included Mrs. Lilian Quant-Forbes, Director, Department of Social Services, and Mrs. Lorraine Duvalier, Assistant Director, Department of Social Services, with oversight for the Senior Citizens Division. They were joined by members of the Department of Social Services’ “Christmas Carolers,” in addition to colleagues from the Urban Renewal Commission. Members of the National Council for Older Persons also helped comprise the delegation.

The four facilities visited included the Demetrius Centre, Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged, Mary Ingraham Inter-Generational Care Centre and the Nurse Naomi Christie Centre.

In all, a total of 60 Seniors received treats from the Team which came bearing gifts that included special care items and individual gift bags for all residents. The residents were also treated to a “Christmas Dinner.”

Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, whose duties in the House of Assembly kept him from joining in the festivities, said the visits were part of his Ministry’s ongoing efforts to provide an added sense of “family” for those persons in its care – particularly the older, more experienced persons whom he said: “have contributed so much to the social and economic development of our country.”

“First let me say that it was rather unfortunate that I was unable to personally participate owing to my obligations in the House of Assembly, but there is no secret for my love and affinity for my older, more experienced persons who are the foundation upon which we stand and I believe that constant and continuous contact with them will enable us to better advance our country,” Minister Campbell said.

“They are of a generation where they can recall how the Season was held in such high regard and high esteem and I felt it would be a bit nostalgic for them to have that level of interaction once again. I am quite certain that even the persons who went to commune with them, that their spirits were uplifted. It was, and is, important to me that our older, more experienced persons who reside in our Homes feel the love and the spirit of the season.

“I think it was Luther Vandros who sung the verse that ‘a House is not a home, if there is no one in it.’ That would suggest to me that the Home is more about the persons who live there, more about the families, more about the interactions, more about the caring and sharing, more about knowing that someone is there for you, that someone has your back and your best interests at heart and so that is the spirit that we want to keep alive wherever it is they are housed.

“We want them to always know that we want to be a part of that Home insofar as doing all that we can to ensure that the necessary standards are maintained and that they have what they need; that they do not go without because that is what family does; that is what members of a household do to make it truly a home,” Minister Campbell added.

Members of the Urban Renewal Pop Band provided the accompanying music for the Department of Social Services “Christmas Carolers” during Wednesday’s visit to the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)Members of the Urban Renewal Pop Band provided the accompanying music for the Department of Social Services “Christmas Carolers” during Wednesday’s visit to the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

The Department of Social Services’ “Christmas Carolers” in action Wednesday. The Carolers provided the Christmas music. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

Mrs. Ruth Wong (left) and Mrs. Pearl McDeigan (right) of the National Council for Older Persons pictured with Mrs. Frances Ledee, Administrator of the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged, during Wednesday’s visit. Mrs. Ledee was appointed the country’s first Child Care Officer in the newly established Department of Social Services in 1964. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

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