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Clarke: Take care of elderly

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Clarke: Take care of elderly

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The care of the elderly should be the responsibility of the extended family and not of the state.
This view was expressed by Gline Clarke Member of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party as he debated  the Government’s White Paper on Ageing in the House Assembly today.
Clarke lamented that enough family values were not being taught especially in the lower eschelons of  the society.
“Why is it that the State feels that it has a duty to provide resources for everyone. As a grown adult I have to take care of my elderly. The State intervenes only if that family life is broken down.”
He said Barbados was becoming a welfare society and there must be a stop to it.
Clarke, in a wide ranging contribution said that Barbados’ Health Service stood out as a beacon but it was important that planning for the elderly went beyond talk.
He also asked if the elderly was being provided with the kind of service that reflected the cost associated with taking care of them.
Clarke also said young people had a role to play in taking care of the elderly because they themselves would be looking for care in their senior years.
“Why is it that we have not been able to teach our young people the values of caring for the family??The extended family is important. In order for us to protect that family environment we have to live as [one].”
Clarke challenged the young men to provide for their family.
“A lot of men expect at the end of the day that the children they neglect 30 years ago would come back to help protect them in the evening of their years.”
He said parents must be also taught to provide for their children.
Clarke said as the economic situation weakened there would be breakdowns in family life and that was where the state must create the enabling environment to create jobs. (JS)