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The T&T Widows Association and the Palmiste Historical Society presented care packages to widows of the former Caroni Estates during a function at the Rambert Village Community Centre, La Romaine, yesterday.

President of the T&T Widows Association Terrence Honore is calling on the public to show more care for the elderly widows in their community.

Distributing care packages to the widows from the former Caroni Estates including the Cedar Grove Estate, Honore said COVID-19 has impacted negatively on society not only among widows but also among the elderly.

“It’s high stress, undue psychological stress especially to those who are predisposed to issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Not all the widows could have come today. Two of them were affected by reduced hearing capacity and Alzheimer’s, precipitated by the COVID environment,” Honore said.

He said it was important to take care of the vulnerable groups in society.

“We need to look after the health and well-being. Families are stressed right now and while they go out to earn their bread and butter, there is some measure of neglect,” Honore said.

“People should monitor people in their communities and liaise with the Ministry of Health who can also check and monitor the situation. We need to work more like a village, a community and go back to the time when we look after the old lady who lives alone just to make sure they are well-taken care of.”

Honore noted that the group of women who were honoured with tokens had contributed to the development of society by labouring on the former Caroni estates.

When Caroni 1975 Limited closed down in 2003, there were over 6,000 workers and more than 3,000 farmers affected. Many of these workers have since died leaving their widows to fend for themselves.

Widows can apply for a survivor’s benefit from the National Insurance Board to support themselves.