Speech - Charles Demicoli (USA)

Mr Charles Demicoli of New York City for almost thirty years was the last speaker on this subject. He stated that most of the Maltese Americans tend to integrate well into the system. There is a Maltese Centre in New York, which serves as a spot to gather the Maltese together, and from where activities for all ages are organised, including cultural events with traditional Maltese input. He noted that a large number of Maltese senior citizens attend at the Centre.

As in almost the rest of the world, life expectancy in the USA has risen to around 82 years. It is seen as a happy turn of events where people enjoy high living standards and excellent health care. Allies too arise from issues affecting the elderly, such as Mobility / Access / Transportation, Financial / Accommodation, and Health Needs Mental / Social).

With the general trend being similar to most countries, the speaker emphasised on the need to generate interest worldwide and work collectively towards addressing the issues concerning old age in our times. In particular any programmes by the Maltese Government should include the seeking out of the senior emigrants and streamlining their social clubs and centres towards cultural and social activities. Radio and other media should be geared at reaching out to the elderly. A worldwide federation would help bringing all the resources available to co-ordinate a seriously committed body to deal with relevant elderly issues. A database of the Maltese abroad could help in identifying accurate numbers and areas of need, as well as to exercise referrals to appropriate bodies or agencies that are able to meet those needs. The speaker ended his speech insisting that the elderly should receive the recognition they deserve.

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