Following a study carried out in four homes for the elderly, including those of Imsida and Mellieha, in 2017, the Department for Active Ageing decided to embark on a project of activities for the elderly living in residential homes.
During a media conference at the Imtarfa Home for the Elderly, Active Ageing Department Director Patrick Vella said that the programme will be implemented with the participation of carers who work in homes and who were provided with the needed training.
After the 2017 study among elderly persons in residential homes a programme of activities was planned so that elderly persons are active during the day and will defeat loneliness. The study showed elderly persons involved in activities like more frequent outings and other activities like painting, crafts and light exercise, were far happier than their counterparts who remained in their rooms doing nothing.
Mr Vella added that the activities will be carried out through carers in the homes, who have shown an interest in running these activities. Elderly persons who spoke with TVM said that when they are active, and involving themselves in knitting or painting or in some other activity, time passes quickly and they feel they are useful. Mr Vella announced that a new curriculum for a new MCAST course in active ageing is being prepared.
Cecilia Attard, who teaches elderly persons in hand-made crafts, said that she notices great improvement in elderly persons who keep themselves active. “When they are active, they forget their problems as they are concentrating on something and their previous problems are gone”.
Elderly persons stated they did not find it easy to adapt from house life to that in a residential home, however such activities are keeping them busy during the day.
Parliamentary Secretary, Anthony Agius Decelis, stressed that residential homes should not be the place where elderly persons are parked, but a home where they feel living with dignity at an environment that suits them.