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Trinidad and Tobago Residential President, Care Association Caroline Ruiz

The T&T Residential Care Association (TTRCA) said yesterday that some of its elderly homeowners are facing a financial crisis.

Speaking to Guardian Media, association president Caroline Ruiz said relatives and caregivers of the elderly have lost income and this is having a rippling effect on the operations at some elderly care facilities.

“Relatives have lost jobs, some of them are outstanding to the homes, some have not paid in months. On top of which, we are using additional stuff because we don’t get Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We have to purchase PPE, it is not donated,” she said.

She added: “We get assistance from the relatives and loved ones to assist in whatever way that they could afford but we are still in crisis financially.”

She has appealed again to the Ministry of Social Development, noting that they raised the issue via correspondence last year, as the ministry was assisting churches and other bodies.

“We are dealing with the most vulnerable and at this point, we are assisting the Government, because if it was not for us they would have had more issues with the elderly. After all, we sustained it for 12 to 14 months. We are trying to reach to Social Development to listen to us and see what they can do for the homeowners.”

She added, “Why are we always the last? They claim verbally that we are the first and we are the most vulnerable but that’s not the truth because if we are, they will reach out.”

The TTRCA is part of the mass vaccination of the elderly, with the Ministry of Health assigning 1,000 doses to the association.

Ruiz said she is grateful the rollout started three weeks ago in South Trinidad and she is hopeful it will expand to more homes across the country. She hopes her association can get 1,000 more doses.

She added that relatives of those at the homes have started to sign the consent forms to allow the elderly to be vaccinated and this will increase the number of elderly at the homes to be vaccinated. The vaccination drive will take place at each home across the country. (OC)