BARP has been following the advice and suggestions of local health officials and recognizes that the greatest risk of infection is among those who are in close contact with people who have COVID-19. This includes family members, health care workers and Care-givers who care for people who are infected.
If you live where any case has been reported, take action to reduce your exposure. Know what’s going on locally.
Pay attention to recommendations from your local public health department. Also, make sure you have adequate supplies of routine medications, like medicine for blood pressure and diabetes, and household supplies in case you need to remain at home.
BARP is following the recommendations and guidance of the medical professionals at every step on this journey, but we do hope that there are sufficient ventilators available for the elderly should the need arise.
What we do hope is that people not necessarily in need do not simply purchase them for stockpiling purposes.
There are many old people in Barbados who live alone and it is in times such as this coronavirus watch that we in BARP would like communities to be “good neighbours” and look out for these seniors. BARP is not only concerned about its members, but the welfare of all seniors in the country and recognised that if there is a “crisis as a result of COVID-19” then there must be special attention to this group of vulnerable people.
So, at this stage BARP encourages, community groups, our churches, Neighbourhood Watch groups, District Emergency organisations , youth organisations and sports association within every community, whether the newer development or traditional villages, to have a type of inventory of the seniors in their community.
It is almost like preparing and having a checklist in preparation for the onset of a hurricane.
We at BARP are hoping that the Home Help service provided by the National Assistance Board which is so critical, and for which the beneficiaries are very grateful, that the service can enhance during this particular time.
What they do for and in the homes of these vulnerable elderly people can play an important role in keeping this disease at bay.
The home help workers would know the weaknesses and deficiencies and must bring them to the attention of their superiors.
These frontline workers must not overlook or ignore any symptoms.
We would also appeal to relatives of seniors living alone to check in on them regularly, certainly on morning, during the day and before the time in the evenings they would normally go to bed. These are times when people will be anxious, uneasy and even afraid… sharing a word of love and empathy and showing you care will mean a lot, even if you can’t get to see them in person.
BARP would also like to encourage seniors across Barbados to follow the radio, television and for those who read the newspapers, print or online, to only be guided by the official information.
Please, be weary of criminals who will use this situation to try to defraud senior citizens, with all types of bogus and deceptive promises, schemes and offers.