September 25, 2022

The Editor Speaks: Cayman’s elderly need help

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Colin WilsonwebI 100% endorse North Side Independent Member of the Legislative Assembly, Ezzard Miller, when he told CNS on Tuesday (18) that: “We need a national debate now over this huge problem which is facing us.

He said, “government needs to create an open and transparent system for offering support to the elderly and indigent and it also needs to revise the pensions and health insurance laws to prevent future pensioners spiralling into poverty.”

“We can no longer have this hidden, secret system where no one knows who is getting what. It seems those who are recommended to the department by politicians are assisted while others get nothing because they haven’t got the right contacts,” he said. “We also need to revise the pension’s law and reconsider one national pension plan.”

There is no doubt that many elderly people are struggling to survive and health insurance companies should not have been able to cease extending their health cover when they retire from the company that employed them and refused to continue keeping them on their health care plan.

Whilst the inadequate pensions a large number of them have received is of concern it is the health care problem that to me is of equal challenge.

In a study executed by CAPHRI School for Public health and Primary Care they report:

“Due to the aging of the population and developments in medical technology, the number of older persons with (chronic) health problems will increase substantially during the following decades. Nowadays, the proportion of people of 65 years of age and older is 12-18% in most Western societies. We expect that this will be nearly doubled in the next three to four decades, which inevitably has consequences for the health care system, in particular for (services and facilities in) home care, care in nursing homes and hospitals.

“Although (old) age in itself is considered as an important risk factor for processes of disablement and need of care in older persons and patients with chronic health problems, research suggests that environmental and psychosocial factors may also be at work.”

Cayman’s finance minister said recently the government is spending millions of dollars picking up the health care tab because of private sector employer’s inadequate provisions.

Then it is time the problem should be fixed. Elderly people in Cayman need help now.


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