(CMR) A resource center to keep the elderly active while making access to government services and program easier for them will be opened soon.
Approximately 275 persons were able to tour the Older Persons Active Ageing Centre (OPAAC)f recently during the Ministry of Community Affairs (MoCA) open house on Wednesday, 31 March.
The center’s soft launch was exclusively open to seniors 60 and older and to caregivers to allow for a comfortable experience. A tour of the facility by the Ministry’s Chief Officer, Teresa Echenique, was followed by brief and informal addresses by both the Chief Officer and the Council of Older Persons Chairperson, Lucille Seymour.
Attendees were advised that a formal opening ceremony will be announced, with invitations being extended to the public later.
The facility, located behind Foster’s Airport /Priced Right, will be opened to the public for Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Needs Assessment Unit (NAU) queries from Monday, 19 April 2021. OPAAC will cater to independent and active seniors residing in the Cayman Islands.
The 6,200 square-foot center, at 131 MacLendon Drive, George Town, will open weekdays from 9 am to 6 pm. Run by a small contingent of staff from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Needs Assessment Unit (NAU), it will offer a range of services and activities.
Refurbished with the support and guidance of by the Public Works and Facilities Management Departments; OPAAC has a reception area (with a blood pressure machine donated by the Health Services Authority), self-service refreshment nook, offices, interview rooms, computer/library room, games room, a conference room, arts and crafts zone and American Disabilities Act-compliant restrooms.
“The OPAAC’s mandate is to provide seniors with accessibility to key government services, community life and to help prevent and alleviate isolation,” said MoCA Chief Officer Teresa Echenique.
“This Center is a new services hub, where older persons can quickly access DCFS and NAU services by providing them with a central location to interact and participate in various programs and activities. It is important to offer our older persons a dedicated and modern space to engage and stay active. We plan to schedule a number of programmed activities tailored for this community in due course. These will be delivered in partnership with various stakeholders from the public and private sector,” Echenique concluded.
“We are delighted to see this project come to fruition,” said DCFS Director Paulinda Mendoza-Williams.
“Our Elderly Services team members will be on-site to discuss any number of welfare issues including conservatorship, elder-care provision, and consultation for family members and geriatric needs evaluation.”
NAU Director Tamara Hurlston noted: “OPAAC ushers in a new era in older persons provision in the Cayman Islands. Staff will assist with assessments and with specific advice and support regarding NAU services,” she concluded.
For further details about OPAAC, call 244-2424 today or 946-7772 from Monday, 19 April 2021, or visit opaac.gov.ky.