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May 22, 2014

The launch of a documentary on the state of affairs of senior citizens

An eighty-three year old woman who lived alone died in an inferno when her house was set on fire. She lived alone and could not get out of harm’s way. Her demise highlights the situation faced by many elderly persons who also live in extreme poverty. Today, the National Council on Ageing launched a moving documentary on the sad state of affairs of senior citizens. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The plight of the elderly, as they move on in years, has been largely ignored by society, as more emphasis is often placed on the middle-aged and youthful populations.  As a matter of fact, many Belizeans are unaware that there is an organization working tirelessly to address the needs of our senior citizens.  The National Council on Ageing, may be a small operation but the scope of its responsibility covers the gamut as far as those of advanced years are concerned.  Over time those stories, some of which are heartbreaking, have been documented on film.


IxChell Poot, National Council on Ageing

IxChell Poot

“I never thought about growing older and as the stories kept coming into my office I think about the people that I met I started collecting a pile of major themes and major instances on my desk.  The idea of a documentary wasn’t hard to sell to Ms. Lindy.  It wasn’t hard to sell to the members of our board of directors because all of them have stories like the two I just told you, some are more touching, all of them are as thought-provoking.  It wasn’t difficult to go out into the communities and find the people willing to talk to us.  It wasn’t difficult to get the stories all on film.”


According to the Executive Director of the National Council on Ageing, Ageing in Belize, a forty minute documentary examining the challenges faced by the elderly on a daily basis, is a slice of reality.


Executive Director, National Council on Ageing

“One of the things that really came home to me while watching the documentary is how much smiling there was from the participants.  They talk about their conditions, their ailments, their financial insecurities, what they’re going to do but they keep smiling.  They most of life because a lot of these people have not grown up wanting handouts or somebody to give them something.  They would rather be independent and work for what they need and this is something that the National Council on Ageing wants to encourage.  We want people to be as independent as possible.  Perhaps not always possible, sometimes family members can’t look after these people in their homes or they have their own family issues?  Then what happens then? We have very little residential facilities to cope with the burgeoning requirements of older persons in our society right now.”


Making an effort to assist in addressing the needs of the elderly is Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation, Mark King who says government, through various initiatives, is doing its part.


Mark King

Mark King, Minister of State, Human Development

“In terms of the national picture, like you said, we are involved because we need to draw awareness and to gain more support for people ageing in Belize.”



“We all know the BOOST Program has been praised internationally.  Recently it was studied by people in the region.  BOOST is for adults of childbearing age to help their families etc.  Is there ever a day that you might say that as Minister of State for Human Development you might come to the table with a proposal of something for…”


Mark King

“As you can remember Jules, when we launched Fam Care for example, the social net protection for Belize is geared at several programs, you have BOOST, you have Pantry, you have the Seenagers programs, you have Fam Care and you have other things that are involved in the social net.  That is not limited to only just those programs, as we have said when we did the Fam Care launching that at the end of the day we are trying to reach out in helping people in other things.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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1 Response for “The launch of a documentary on the state of affairs of senior citizens”

  1. Rod says:

    While this pm and gov are pocketing all the money they have left the elderly in this country to fend for themselves it’s the most depressing actions of this gov. Who do not even care for their own citizens.

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