Social Protection Analyst at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Camille Graham, has underscored the need for continuous dialogue on the implications of the ageing population and how to capitalise on opportunities that this group offers to the economy and society.
Graham said that citizens and stakeholders “must be mindful of the social, economic and environmental implications of the ageing population in Jamaica, what this phenomenon means for all of us and how we can make it work in the best interest of all”.
Ageing and development
She was addressing a recent ‘Dialogue for Development Series’ public consultation at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville, themed ‘Ageing and Development: Exploding Myths, Exploring Opportunities’.
“As the population ages, we must consider how towns and cities are organised.”
Graham pointed out that Jamaica has an ageing population and, as such, consideration must be given to the impact this may have on the provision of public services, healthcare, and other general services.
“We must consider if public service institutions have the capacity to offer the range of services to an older population with more diverse range of needs and preferences, taking into consideration those returning from overseas,” she pointed out.
City and town planning
She noted that with an ageing population comes greater demand for goods and services, which will require public- and private-sector involvement to adequately meet the needs.
“As the population ages, we must consider how towns and cities are organised, the physical layout, the varying needs in the design of transportation systems, how the elderly access public services and how they will transition to using technologies,” Graham said.
She added that in city and town planning, consideration must be given to creating recreational spaces that allow for multigenerational usage and interaction across age groups.