Gaetano d’Amico and Maria Therese Camilleri, residents at two CareMalta homes for the elderly, were honoured for their role in promoting active ageing during a virtual award ceremony by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Active Ageing and Persons with Disability on October 30, held under the patronage of President George Vella.

The annual event is part of the celebrations taking place in October, the month dedicated to older persons.

Twenty-two residents were nominated by CareMalta for this year’s awards from four homes: Casa San Paolo, Casa Arkati, Villa Messina and Żejtun Home.

Mr D’Amico won the Active Ageing in Residential Homes award, while Ms Camilleri was awarded for her efforts in promoting intergenerational solidarity.

Mr D’Amico, 74, president of the residents’ committee at Casa San Paolo, unbeatable at helping out with daily chores and organising special events, is the life and soul of the home.

Moving there in 2016, after being faced with the responsibility of taking care of his sick wife, who passed away a short while after the move, he has never looked back.

Carol Galea, active ageing coordinator at Casa San Paolo, said the home felt empty when Gaetano was not around. “He is a big part of us here and whenever there’s an event coming up, he’s always ready to lend a helping hand.”

The home’s manager, Zvetlana Farrugia, added: “We are very lucky to have him as a resident.”

Ms Camilleri, 77, who is extremely friendly and polite, strongly believes that the community would be much stronger “if we all worked together regardless of age”. She is an avid reader and loves to participate in all activities organised by the home.

Active ageing coordinator Yasmin Seguna said: “Ms Camilleri always manages to bring a smile to the face of all her fellow residents and fills them with encouragement.

Facility manager Roberta Agius praised Ms Camilleri, saying she was truly a role model for us all.”