Georgetown, Guyana – (July 30, 2018) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, this afternoon, commended 34 women for successfully completing the Care for the Elderly workshop. The six weeks workshop, which was organised by the Office of the First Lady in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Protection, included three phases; a theory based aspect, a practical aspect and a week of first aid training. The aim of the programme is to develop a corps of caregivers who understand their roles, responsibilities and relationships with their clients and how to cater to the different needs of their elderly charges.

The First Lady, who delivered the opening remarks at the graduation ceremony held at the Baridi Benab, State House, expressed gratitude to the organisations and individuals, who played a pivotal role in ensuring the workshop was executed efficaciously. Mrs. Granger shared her ultimate goal for these workshops, noting that “It is my dream that we will have day care centres for our seniors and our children in a Regional Democratic Council framework where people can go to a community development office and our seniors and children can be left there and have all of these activities while the community life takes place among them,” she said.

Information Technology Manager of Hand-In-Hand Trust, Ms. Hazel Hannibal, who delivered the featured address, urged the graduands to be ardent about their delivery of service and strive to build bonds with their future clients as it would add value to both their lives and that of their clients. “I want you to enjoy yourself, enjoy what you will be doing so that joy will be passed on to your charges…Where ever you may go, around our country or around the world, serve with diligence, serve with excellence, and serve with passion,” she opined.

The workshop’s head facilitator, Mrs. Hazel Halley-Burnett, who manned the practical and theory aspects of the training along with her colleague Mrs. Ismay Griffith, said that during the course of the programme, participants learnt the essentials for providing care for the elderly. Focus was also placed on areas such as identifying the symptoms of a stroke, dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, stress management, diabetes care and management, feeding of seniors, responsibilities of the caregiver and skills in communicating with the elderly.

General Secretary of the Guyana Red Cross Society, which facilitated the First Aid aspect of the programme, Ms. Dorothy Fraser, in giving an overview of that facet of the training, said that the participants received a crash course in First Aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). They also examined the role of a first aider, disease transmission and prevention, breathing emergencies as well as dealing with conscious and unconscious persons.

Meanwhile, one graduate, Ms. Roshannie Ramlochan, described the workshop as “impressive” as she reflected on the impact the programme had on her. “I must say that this workshop was an impressive array of how to care for the aging generation. Despite the wide diversity of approaches and representatives, this workshop was highly successful in identifying problems associated with caring for our elderly. This workshop has been an educational and informative experience. Some of us will use this as a boost to further develop ourselves while others will take advantage of it to take care of personal relationships,” the graduate shared.

The Certificates received by the graduands are all certified by the Board of Industrial Training (BIT), which is accredited locally and regionally. Additionally, the batch also qualified for certification from the Guyana Red Cross Society, which identifies each participant as verified First Aid responders.

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