The Dominica Council on Ageing hosted its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday May 31 2022.

The AGM was held under the theme ‘Conquering the Challenges of the Day’ referring to the obstacles the country’s elderly face on a daily basis.

Counselor and Featured Speaker Ms. Glenora Pacquette says that while many look at ageing as a negative part of live growing older is a privilege that many do not get to experience.

“For many the idea of growing old is terribly intimidating and daunting. But embracing ageing demonstrates why age is really nothing but a number. Ageing is a privilege denied to many. Nobody is sure who first uttered those words but the sentiment is timeless. Although we are often surrounded by messages telling us that ageing is a negative experience, growing older is not a bad thing,” Ms. Pacquette stated.

Ms. Pacquette says that ageing brings about an appreciation for family and friends as well as the experiences one may have faced throughout their lifetime.

“Our overall happiness levels tend to rise with age. One reason might be that we typically face fewer stressers related to work and relationships as we grow older. But research has shown that we can acquire a more balanced perspective on life through our hard earned personal experiences. Growing awareness of our own mortality may help us appreciate our lives more, instead of comparing our circumstances to others and striving for more material things. Furthermore our attitude and connection with others influence our satisfaction with our lives,” she explained.

She noted that despite the daily challenges that the elderly may face ranging from physical limitations to modern technology, there are ways to overcome these challenges.

“We can find ways to conquer these challenges by embracing our age and experience fulfillment through evaluating our needs. We can ask ourselves what we really need and what we really want and this can transform our lives. Everyone has different needs; your needs may be different from mines, but once we are intuned with our own set of needs we will be happy and fulfilled,” Pacquette noted.

Ms. Pacquette added that reflecting on life experiences should bring gratitude and a new perspective as citizens grow older.

“As we reflect on our lives, we can identify many reasons for gratitude. This includes friendships, family relationships, career success, personal achievements, positive memories, leisure activities, and even our own special interest. As we engage in these reflections, we may develop different perspectives and approaches we can take to growing older,” Ms. Pacquette added.

Meanwhile, President of the Dominica Council on Ageing, Mrs. Ophelia Marie says the period under review during the AGM has been a challenge for the council.

“The period under review and we are talking 2021 has been a real challenge. This year has been a unique trial for the Dominica Council on Ageing and for all senior citizens of Dominica as well,” Mrs. Marie stated.  

Mrs. Marie thanked the Government of Dominica and other institutions, business, and individual who have supported the Dominica Council of Ageing various programmes during the year and recognizing the elderly as an important part of society.

“During the year many individuals, associations, organizations as well as Government have demonstrated that they care about the welfare of the older persons in a positive way through their response to our call for help and through our efforts to raise funds to execute our programmes, and we want to say thank you very much to all of them. A prerequisite for the active involvement of older persons to building a caring society is the recognition that older persons are an integral part of society,” Mrs. Marie added.