The growing elderly population in Barbados represents an untapped market that could be a niche for entrepreneurs.
In fact, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Care, Donna Cadogan, told an audience at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Soroptimists International of Barbados that the activities of its Global Village in Eden Lodge showed support for the concept of active ageing.
Delivering remarks on behalf of the Minister Steve Blackett, Cadogan said: “The Ministry of Social Care considers that just as structured and developed programmes for children, youth and the working population have become the norm, we must design and implement appropriate programmes and activities for increasingly older populations.
“Where possible these programmes should provide opportunities for younger folk to also be engaged thereby creating an avenue for the transfer of attributes such as patience, strength, and integrity to the younger generation.”
She praised the programmes of the Soroptimist, which included art and craft, tours, games, line dancing, tai-chi, concerts, lectures among other activities.
Cadogan said as well that today’s elderly did not consider themselves old, but were increasingly seeking opportunities for active lifestyles.
As such, she said: “It is our view that there is as yet an untapped market in Barbados; that of supplying the special needs of an ageing population — from healthy diets to specially designed vehicles and other equipment, to enhanced physical mobility, special vacation and tourism packages, and home health care services.
“This older group, also called the Silver Market, has great potential and is still a very young market in countries like Barbados. Business persons need to cater to the needs of this growing market more,” she said. (LB)