Seniors advise minister on building an age-friendly society – The Royal Gazette

Created: Sep 09, 2022 2:00 PM

Tinée Furbert, Minister of Social Development and Seniors, answers questions during an open forum with seniors (Photograph by Jayde Gibbons)

The needs of seniors amid rising costs in Bermuda took center stage during an in-person ‘talk and tea’ forum held last Friday.

Eighty participants gathered at St. Paul’s Parish Hall in Paget – and more such gatherings are planned.

Tinée Furbert, Minister for Social Development and Seniors, said the “needs and concerns” of the island’s older people must be aired as Bermuda emerges from the clutches of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The announcement of the meetings last month underscored the heightened challenges for older Bermudians in light of the rising cost of living.

Ms Furbert said yesterday she found it ‘refreshing to connect with our elders in person’.

She added, “The event was well attended and our elders provided invaluable feedback.

“Our elders had many questions and concerns that we were able to acknowledge and provide feedback and workable solutions.”

The minister noted that the island is expected to have an elderly population of one third by 2036.

His remarks came as the Ministry of Economy and Labor acknowledged that serious economic challenges threatened the island with the workforce shrinking as a growing number of residents enjoyed their retirement.

Ms. Furbert called it “uplifting to hear directly from our seniors what an age-friendly community would look like to them”.

She added: “Collecting data in this way helps us ensure that we are listening to the needs of our older population and working to provide solutions.”

Jennifer C. Burleigh