Social services’ bill ‘to jump’

Barbados can expect its cost of social services to significantly increase in the coming years, says Minister of People Empowerment and Elderly Affairs Kirk Humphrey.

 Referencing the latest census report, in which the data showed that one in four Barbadians was over the age of 60 – a statistic expected to rise to one in two in 25 years – Humphrey explained that the cost of elderly care is significantly more than what is associated with children or young people. 

Speaking at a Barbados Association of Retired Persons’ one-day seminar yesterday, he said already there has been a notable change in a demographic of people receiving social welfare services.

“The transition in society is impacting the delivery of all our social services. I think the thing that we have to be most mindful of in social services is that the costs associated with caring for a child is not the same as the cost for caring for an older person. To care for a senior person costs two or three times as much, so we are going to anticipate that even our budget must increase. The ability to care is also going to shift,” Humphrey said.

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