MOTHER’S DAY: MINISTER AKBAR
ON WHIRLWIND TOUR OF AGE CARE HOMES
Families planning to dump their parents at the three age care homes will have to think twice now. The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar made this statement when she celebrated Mothers’ Day with 14 women of Babasiga Ashram at the Grand Eastern Hotel in Labasa yesterday.
It was the first of three visits of age care homes yesterday. The whirlwind tour took in the Old People’s Home in Suva and the Golden Age Home in Lautoka last night. She said entry into three age care homes in Fiji would not be easy. She said in the past some families dropped their father or mother at the doorstep of age care homes while some left them at the hospitals. “We don’t want our young generation to continue with this culture,” Ms Akbar said. “We are going to tighten up manual procedures and have standard operations because from this year my ministry is going to work on this. “I am very serious about this as I have been vigorously campaigning on the importance of looking after our parents. “Those children who are thinking about dumping in care homes or pushing their elders on the street have to think twice; because we mean business. We don’t have the right to dump them.” One of the residents told Ms Akbar while she was having her breakfast yesterday that her family was in Australia and they told her they could not take her over there because it was costly.
“I was really sad to hear this,” Ms Akbar said. In Fiji we have three age care homes; Babasiga Ashram, Samabula Old People’s Home and Golden Age. Ms Akbar said there were more than 169 residents in these homes and out of this 72 were women. “Some have been living in this home for more than 10 years,” she said. “The reason as to why we are vigorously campaigning because 72 is a small number. “If we all work together we will be able to control and decrease the number of entry.” Ms Akbar said an early breakfast treat was organised by the ministry in partnership with the owner of Grand Eastern Hotel, Charan Jeath Singh. She gifted blankets to mothers and spent few minutes with everyone to hear their stories. Ms Akbar burst into tears urging people to remember those people who had lost their mothers. “As a ministry we are sad to see some families reject and neglect their mothers. To those people out there I would like to say that there is still time,” she pleaded. “Mother’s Day celebration should not be only for a particular day but an everyday celebration. “Let’s bring back the love and trust that our mothers deserve. This is something that we going to embark on. “I would like to urge the members of the public, if you know of any case where parents are neglected please bring this issue to us.”
Names change for care homes
Ms Akbar has confirmed that the names of three existing age care homes will be changed this year.
She said all homes, facilities and meal menu would be standardised. “Name like Ashram is not suitable to be used,” Ms Akbar said. “Everything will be standardised because we want to give justice to all senior citizens. “We don’t want any home to feel ignored.
“Because of the recent two tropical cyclones we couldn’t get transfer of homes in process. “However, we have resumed with the necessary procedures.”
Reunite with elderly
Ms Akbar is also urging families to reunite with their loved ones living at the three senior citizens homes in Fiji. She made the comment while hosting residents of the Samabula Old People’s Home to lunch for Mother’s Day celebration at the New Peking Restaurant in Suva yesterday. “Sad to say very few families have come up with the intention to reunite with their mothers,” Ms Akbar said. “We have seen some families, come crying for their loved ones have passed away. Why cry later when you can share their joyous and smiles now.”
She said there was still time to do the right thing for our elderly. “Our doors are open and we will assist families take their mothers and fathers back to their homes,” she said. Ms Akbar also visited the Golden Age Home in Lautoka last night.
It’s painful to see children leaving their parents at the old peoples’ home, says 77-year-old senior citizen Shanti Devi. Ms Devi has been residing at the Samabula Old People’s Home for the last seven years and she has no family. She is not married but saddened by the fact in seeing some children leaving their parents at the home. “I always see my friends at the old age home crying,” she said. “Mothers give birth to children and fathers provide them with their basic need and its children’s responsibility to take care of their parents. There place is at their children’s home not at the old age homes,” she said. Ms Devi is calling on everyone to take good care of their parents and respect them.
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation with some residents of the Samabula Old People’s Home at the New Peking Restuarant in Suva yesterday.
Minister Rosy Akbar at the Grand Eastern Hotel in Labasa yesterday celebrating Mother’s Day with residents of the Babasiga Ashram.