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The Division of Ageing was established under the former Ministry of Social Development in August 2003, in accordance with the tenets of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA), which was endorsed by the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago at the UN Second World Assembly on Ageing held in Madrid, Spain in 2002. The Division serves as an umbrella agency to focus ageing initiatives, and acts as an advocate for older persons in Trinidad and Tobago.
To educate and sensitize key stakeholders and the general public on the ageing issues; and to enhance the quality of life of older persons throughout Trinidad and Tobago by providing an enabling environment for their continued development.
Functions of the Division of Ageing:

  • Develop standards of care for older persons
  • Monitor and coordinate the implementation of the National Policy on Ageing
  • Organize and coordinate training programmes, seminars and workshops for care providers of older persons
  • Develop and implement programmes and projects for the benefit of the older persons
  • Conduct research on matters pertaining to ageing and older persons
  • Conduct public sensitization programmes nationwide on issues regarding ageing and older persons
  • Network with social-sector Ministries, the private sector, and civil society in the interest of older persons
  • Control, monitor and regulate Homes for Older Persons Types I & II

The Division of Ageing is designated as a policy implementation unit and its main goal is to coordinate the implementation of the National Policy on Ageing, which was developed by a Multi-disciplinary Committee and approved by Cabinet in 2006. The Policy addresses (12) priority areas of action that are consistent with those identified in MIPAA. These priority areas for action are as follows:

  1. Social Security
  2. Income Security and Employment
  3. Participation, Involvement and Social Inclusion
  4. Dignity and Respect for the Elderly
  5. Healthcare and Standards for hospitals and care facilities
  6. Housing
  7. Education and Training
  8. Recreation
  9. Legislation
  10. Transportation
  11. Disaster Preparedness
  12. Research

The Policy, which was launched in July 2007, seeks to create an environment which would facilitate the meaningful participation and involvement of older persons in society. The issue of the implementation of the Action Plan of the National Policy has been at the focal point of the Division of Ageing’s agenda and, in this regard, the Division is currently formulating a National Plan of Action on Ageing.
Services Offered 

  • Commemorating International Day of Older Persons on October 1 annually with cultural and sporting/recreational events for seniors
  • Establishing Senior Activity Centres in Trinidad where older persons can come together for educational and recreational activities that enhance their dignity
  • Commemorating World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 annually
  • Hosting annual Retirement Planning Seminars for Public Officers
  • Hosting annual Public Open Forum for Older Persons
  • Providing research data on ageing to stakeholders
  • Operating the Older Persons Information Centre (OPIC) which serves as a Help Desk

Information About Regulations
The Homes for Older Persons Act No. 20 of 2007 is listed on the Parliament website under the “Legislation” link. It was earmarked in the National Budget 2011 for proclamation, which is dependent on the establishment of an Inspectorate in the Division of Ageing, to provide oversight for the operations of Residential Homes for Older Persons. Further, this legislation will regulate and monitor all Homes (categorized as Types I and II) and care facilities for older persons in Trinidad and Tobago.
Subject Matter Information
The United Nations define a country as ‘ageing’ when 10% or more of its population is over the age of 60 years. In 2002, data from the Central Statistical Office in Trinidad and Tobago revealed that 10% of the population was over the age of 60 years. The significance of this finding was that Trinidad and Tobago was a part of that select group of countries within the developing world having an “ageing population,” which is representative of the demographic trend within the region. At present, the elderly population of Trinidad and Tobago stands at 12 percent or 156,000 persons over the age of 60 years (Central Statistical Office, 2010). According to the UN World Population Prospects (2008), the percentage of persons in Trinidad and Tobago aged 60 years and over is projected to be 17.7% in 2025 and expected to grow to 30.1% in 2050.

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