The book ‘My Residence at Pine Forest Lodge’ by Prof. Victor Mallia Milanes was launched at Casa Arkati in Mosta, one of the facilities managed by CareMalta Group and a home for Prof. Mallia Milanes and his wife. The event was organised by CareMalta Group and took take place on Saturday, 1st October, to mark International Senior Citizen’s Day.
This book captures the experiences and struggles of an 80-year-old man, during the pandemic of the Coronavirus. It includes reflections that were transformed into a fictional story about the life of an elderly and the challenges he had to face and still faces, especially the reality of his wife who suffers from dementia.
Minister Miriam Dalli joined the event to celebrate the publication of the book. During the launch, she explained her ties to Mosta, and her appreciation of literature and publications like ‘My Residence at Pine Forest Lodge’ that aim to create awareness about social issues which need to be addressed more carefully, such as addressing solitude experienced by the elderly.
As part of the book launch Prof. Marvin Formosa, from the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, and Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Agius from the Faculty of Theology within the University of Malta, gave their academic reflection on the book. Both mentioned and emphasised how the COVID-19 pandemic effected negatively the social well-being of the elderly, especially those residing in care homes since their visiting hours were restricted as a measure to protect their health. They further explained how the book explains clearly how the pandemic’s arrival, unfortunately, left elderly people more isolated than before, and that now it is the time to remedy and start giving more value to elderly people in our society.
The Chairperson of Vassallo Group Malta, Natalie Briffa Farrugia as well as the Chief Executive Office of CareMalta, James Sciriha, attended and addressed the event. Briffa Farrugia mentioned that even though the elderly receive good care and medical attention in care homes, at the end of the day they still yearn for the involvement of their family.
James Sciriha, CEO of CareMalta Group, emphasised how the Group truly believes and encourages the concept of active ageing and that the book ‘My Residence at Pine Forest Lodge’, is a clear example of this.
The book was published by Kite Group, one of Malta’s leading publishers.