Calypsonian De Hawk once said that age was only just a number but really it was the way one feels.
Well, this morning the residents at the Geriatric Hospital in Beckles Road, St. Michael probably felt about 40 years younger as they partied in the annual LIME mini Kadooment.
From the time one entered the gates of the hospital there was a feeling that something was happening; the latest soca tunes were blazing, there were tents set up, spectators galore were on the lawns and there was a multitude of colour and creativity in the form of festival costumes.
More than a hundred senior citizens from the Geriatric hospital, the Psychiatric hospital, the Elaine Scantlebury Centre and the Gordon Cummins hospital bedecked in costumes and paraded throughout the grounds of the institution, led by a music truck.
The sun was scorching but that did not seem to bother anyone; everyone apparently was more interested in having fun as smiles filled the faces of the seniors and their laughter was deafening.
This was the fourth year for the carnival and this year there were five sections: King and Queen of Hearts, Colour Blocking 2012, Peppalicious Jammers On Fire, Clean Team and Untouchables. The sections were judged at various points along the route by veteran band designer, Gwyneth Squires.
Chairperson on the National Committee on Aging, Mazie Barker-Welch, was also there to participate in the festivities. Wearing short pants with a pair of blue, black and yellow Barbados shoes and head tied she shook her buttocks a bit and enjoyed the happenings. Vowing that next year
she would again attend the Kadooment but this time wearing a costume and jumping in one of the bands.
“It was fantastic that the old people were enjoying themselves so much,” she said “and the public need to come out and see how they are enjoying themselves. I was here yesterday and it was an eye opener, we need more of these activities . . . but people have to be informed and take an interest in older people.
“When you see the patients faces they light up, they need something because they don’t have a lot to look forward to and do . . . oh man it is really wonderful. The thing about it is I forget I am older too. I don’t remember old, I just keep on doing what I am doing so when I talk about the elderly, sometimes it hit me ‘wait woman, you are one of the elderly too’ so old should not ever mean cold.”
It was truly a wonderful day for the seniors and one resident, Juliette Knight, told Barbados TODAY she had a ball “wukking up as usual” and she had no to plans to stop any time soon.
LIME’s Corporate Communications Officer, Sonji Phillips, also expressed her enjoyment. While stating it was the third year of involvement from the title sponsor, she said she had a lot of fun.
“It is a sight to see these old people when their faces come alive, enjoying themselves – especially those confined to wheelchairs. It is very satisfying to contribute to this,” she said.
Today’s activity was one in a series at the Geriatric Hospital which is celebrating seniors this week. (KC)