Health Minister Kim Wilson told senior citizens on Wednesday that it’s never too late to adopt healthy lifestyles.

With commitment she said, anyone can start right away – like today!

Speaking at the Ministry of Health’s annual Celebrating Wellness community event, Minister of Health Kim Wilson said: “It is a pleasure to be with you this afternoon as we shine the spotlight on our amazing senior citizens.”

She noted that the Ministry has organised Celebrating Wellness events since 2011, “to emphasize our personal and collective responsibility to engage in healthy lifestyles that support positive health behaviors, at any age”.

The theme this year is ‘Healthy Ageing Starts Now!’

“The term ‘healthy ageing’ refers to the ability to function physically, mentally, socially and emotionally as the body slows down its processes with rising age. It means remaining healthy and active in the later stages of life too. Ageing simply refers to growing older,” said Ms Wilson.

“So why is the health of our seniors so important? The health of our population impacts our ability to work, to prosper and to live well. Conversely, if the population is unhealthy, it reduces the number of people who are working, prospering and living well. And that has significant economic and social costs.

“As a country we need to ensure that the necessary social, economic and physical environments are in place to help us to live longer and healthier lives. Which is why as a Government we are actively engaged in pursuing reform of our standard healthcare,” she said.

“We are acutely aware that the time has come to fundamentally reform the core health insurance plan, and to provide it through a unified system where all residents will be a part of a Bermuda Health Plan. A unified system means we can have the largest and most efficient insurance pool to better protect those who are vulnerable and share health costs across all of Bermuda’s residents.

“Your Government is committed to reforming healthcare to make it more affordable, expand access and improve health outcomes. Our focus is on enabling all residents from birth to their senior years to enjoy better health by encouraging healthy habits from the start and promoting preventive care.”

She also urged residents to be mindful of “four key behaviors that we can all start today to ensure healthy ageing”:

  • Not Smoking
  • Moderate Drinking
  • Regular exercise
  • and eating fruits and vegetables daily.

“These strategies can start today… all we need to do is to make that personal commitment to ageing healthy and gracefully.

“As a community, we need to demonstrate how to live healthier lives. It will take some work, but the Ministry of Health is ready to see this happen and will work hard toward the goal of healthy people in healthy communities,” she said.

She also thanked the organisations involved, including: Apex Physio & Apex Allied Health, Age Concern, BF&M Insurance Group, Bermuda Cancer and Health Center, EAP Bermuda, Open Airways, Vision Bermuda and many more.

“Thank you also to organizers, the Health Promotion Office at the Department of Health, the Celebrating Wellness Planning Committee and Select Sites Group. Other partners include, Well Bermuda Partners, the Chamber of Commerce and the Corporation of Hamilton, to whom I extend my absolute gratitude,” said the Minister.

“It is our hope that Celebrating Wellness will encourage attendees and the wider public to celebrate our own health and take steps to cherish and care for it.”

  • Feature Photos Supplied