Christmas came early for 200 seniors from Clusters D and G at the Golden Age Home in Vineyard Town, Kingston, yesterday. They were treated at the Yuletide festivities that Food For The Poor (FFP) stages annually for them.
Through a long-standing partnership with the Golden Age Home, FFP officially sponsors both clusters at the home. The golden agers at the treat included persons who are challenged both mentally and physically, and seniors with chronic ailments such as diabetes or hypertension. Their smiles were broad as they partook of the goodies, with Christmas carols as topping.
“They look forward to this day the whole year. When we come here, it’s a joy for them to see us because we aren’t just feeding them, we are spending time and interacting with them,” David Mair, executive director of Food For The Poor, told The Gleaner.
He added: “We are here to facilitate anything we can do to uplift their lives, and that’s what’s really great about this job.
FEELING OF FULFILMENT
General manager of the Golden Age Home Laurette Adams-Thomas told The Gleaner: “I think it’s wonderful! It’s something that the residents and employees look forward to every day. This type of relationship with FFP is not new as their giving is ongoing. One of the things we really appreciate is that FFP is not just a donor or a sponsor, they are a partner.”
She further stated: “Senior citizens are not really given priority in this day and age. We see where more attention is being given to our youth. So I get a feeling of fulfilment when I see that the seniors are properly cared for.”
The Golden Age Home is primarily government funded. It currently houses approximately 460 persons and has 160 employees across seven clusters. It acts as an infirmary and also cares for persons who have been rendered destitute. It is the largest facility of its kind in Jamaica and the Caribbean offering these types of services.
Both Mair and Thomas appealed for further sponsorship and potential partnership from corporate Jamaica to aid in retrofitting facilities such as the bathroom for disabled persons, a bus for transportation, and overall funding and supplies on a daily basis.