Charter Of Rights & Responsibilities For Seniors

July 10, 2019 | 4 Comments

The Bermudian Charter of the Rights and Responsibilities of the Elderly and Adults in Need of Long-Term Care and Assistance was signed today, and is due to be tabled in the House of Assembly on Friday.

Speaking at the signing today, Premier David Burt said,  “I am pleased to be joined by Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Ageing Well Committee, the Hon. Derrick Burgess as well my parliamentary colleague MP Neville Tyrell, Rev. Fred Hassell and Mrs. Keeona Belboda, Director of Ageing & Disability Services.

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“The importance of ageing well and ensuring truly golden years for senior citizens is a priority for this Government.

“In our 2017 General Election Platform, the Progressive Labour Party undertook to ‘review the laws to reflect international best practices to enact a Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for seniors.’ Our goal is to recognise and respect the rights of people who became more dependent on others due to ageing, illness or disability and to ensure they lead a lives of dignity and independence.

“Under the leadership of Mr. Burgess and with the technical input of the Ministry of Health, I am pleased today to deliver on the promise that we made.

“The Charter is designed:

  • i. to be a reference document setting out the fundamental principles and rights that are needed for the wellbeing of all those who are dependent on others for support and care due to age, illness or disability.
  • “ii. to raise awareness for individuals and the community of people’s fundamental rights and responsibilities who have long-term care needs and to foster best practices; and
  • “iii. to complement and support other measures which are already implemented or in development.

“The Charter has been developed based upon international and local standards and has been adapted from the European Charter of the Rights and Responsibilities of Older People in Need of Long-Term Care and Assistance to suit Bermuda’s needs.

Whilst advanced under the auspices of the Ageing Well Committee within the Cabinet Office, significant input had been received from the Ministry of Health to ensure that it did complement existing regimes as intended.

“The Charter includes 10 Articles including:

“i. Right to dignity, physical and mental well-being, freedom and security

“ii. Right to privacy

  • a. Right to private life
  • b.Right to private information and communication

“iii. Right to high quality and tailored care

  • a.Quality of care
  • b.Tailored care

“iv. Right to continued communication, participation in society and cultural activity

“v. Right to palliative care and support, and respect and dignity in dying and in death

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“We are taking care of seniors. In addition to this Charter of Rights and Responsibilities, we continue to respect the ability of some senior citizens to continue in the workforce. Legislation has now been tabled to increase the retirement age in the Public Service from 65 to 68, preserving the ability, on certain criteria, to work until age 70.

“Working people of whatever age contribute to the economic activity of a society and where people can work beyond the traditional age of 65 then they should be able to. We also continue to take care of war veterans and their spouses. These men and women were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice in support of their Island home and we thank them for their service.

“The Order to increase war pensions from $800 to $1000 per month will be dealt with in the House of Assembly on Friday. This action coincides with the 75th Anniversary of the deployment of the 1st Battalion, Caribbean Regiment [Bermuda Contingent].

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“Three overarching themes drive the Charter we will sign today: dignity – rights and – responsibilities. As a society we should be judged by how we take care of our most vulnerable. Today marks an important step in creating a greater awareness around a key and growing demographic in our community.

“In addition to Mr. Burgess as Chairman of the Ageing Well Committee, I am honoured to invite Ms. Molly Burgess to sign this Charter on behalf of Bermuda’s seniors. As a champion of the rights of workers and all people in this country, it is only right that her decades of fearless service are marked in this way. On Friday, this Charter will be tabled in the House of Assembly and her signature will bear witness to the realization of another landmark achievement in securing rights for Bermuda’s people.”

The full Bermudian Charter follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (4)

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  1. Question says:

    All part of his plan to increase the retirement age, taking away our retirement benefits.

  2. La Verdad says:

    Thank you, from a grateful senior.

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    Is this Charter supposed be legally binding or it is just politics?

  4. Ringmaster says:

    There is a similarity between this Charter and the Report on the events of December 2 2016. Both are written by the PLP, contain little of substance, have lots of words that sound good but mean nothing, and are meant as political propaganda. You are the Government and not the Opposition. Where is the economic stimulus and jobs?

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