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Help take care of our island's beloved seniors

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May marks the month of senior citizens, and is a time to bring awareness to the growing needs of our island's elders. In the Chamorro culture, our elders are some of the most revered and respected members of society, but it is during these years that they need the love and support of family members and the community the most.

The Biba Mainanata Drive aims to provide donated goods to support Guam's three adult day care centers as well as the National Family Caregiver Support Program. Dededo center program manager Julie Perez told KUAM News, "It's advocacy - to the community, individuals, groups, come out and meet with us, come out and donate much needed household and office supplies for the center, and it's going to be used for the old people." Guam currently has three adult day care centers, which provide respite and care services to seniors ages 60 and up, many of whom struggle with diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. The newest center opened earlier this year to meet the growing demand for these services.

According to Perez, the demand far outweighs the supply, adding, "That's our biggest challenge: meeting their needs." However the community can help support these centers through donations of everyday goods.

Drive coordinator Charlene San Nicolas said, "It's through generous support and donations such as sundry items to include toiletries, it could be shampoo, baby wipes, it could be unscented lotion, adult diapers, latex gloves, cleaning supplies such as bleach for laundry, or cleaning, laundry detergent, liquid soap, liquid disinfectant, trash bags as well as bed liners, linens, blankets for single-sized beds."

Any donation, no matter how big or small, can greatly benefit our island's man'amko.

The Biba Mainanata Drive will continue until May 29 and items can be dropped off at any adult day care center. For more information on how you can help you can call 653-4004.

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