President of Malta George Vella unveiled a monument in honour of the elderly who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for the resilient character of the elderly in this difficult period for each and every one of us.
President Vella said that the pandemic was more severe for the elderly, particularly for those residing in residences for the elderly or hospitalised; the reason being that, despite the care and affection shown by the staff working in these institutions towards the elderly, separation and lack of physical contact remain difficult experiences.
The President therefore called for us as a society to find a way to strengthen our presence in the lives of the elderly. “I believe that together with the professionalism of the Maltese Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, each and every one of us can contribute to continuously improve the quality of life of our elders”. Other opportunities exist, said the President, as long as one believes in the central role of the elderly in our society. “Respect for our elders and an inclusive society go beyond the boundaries of age,” noted the President.
Referring to this project implemented at the initiative of the Maltese Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (MAGG), President Vella observed how the two figures of the monument are keeping their distance from each other, but they still want to keep in touch through their fingers. “Figuratively, one can also interpret this gesture as a source of intergenerational dialogue and to further raise awareness between the older and younger generations,” the President remarked.
President Vella concluded his speech with a message in favour of unity and appealed for an inclusive policy for the elderly, which should be accessible to all the elderly – both those residing in residences for the elderly and those residing in their own homes.
The monument in Tas-Sliema is the work of artist Wallace Falzon and architect David Zahra.
Source: Office of the Prime Minister