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Dec 16, 2022

HelpAge Belize on Challenges Facing the Elderly

Ivorine Bulwer

On a daily basis, HelpAge Belize engages with the elderly.  But there are so many challenges facing this vulnerable population. Executive Director Ivorine Bulwer says that aside from neglect, there are also health issues.


Ivorine Bulwer, Executive Director, HelpAge Belize

“For the past twenty years, we know we have a challenge with diabetes, hypertension, these non-communicable diseases and the complications. And we are seeing evidence of it. There are so many of our older persons with stroke, so many of them with amputation, requesting wheelchair, requesting support. So, one of our big challenges is healthcare. And it is not only the opportunity to go to the clinics, but it is access to diagnostic services. We need to recognise that so many of our older persons are unemployed and those who have retired, their pensions are small so they experience challenges – challenges with purchasing medication, challenges to live a healthy life. So we have the opportunity to interact with quite a number of these people. Neglect is really an issue because we see it within the home and within the health institutions because if you don’t feed a person that is neglect. If I go into the hospital and I am not being turned, I would get a bed sore and that is neglect. So those are issues of neglect. When you talk about neglect, do we take our loved ones to regular clinic visits? Do we take our loved ones on outings? Do we follow up with them to see how they are doing? If they are eating? If they are tidy? Those are neglect and it is also important to understand that there is also self-neglect.”

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