UAE care for elderly marks welfare spirit - GulfToday

UAE care for elderly marks welfare spirit

UAE elderly

The UAE leadership has put in place stringent policies to assure wellbeing of the elderly in the country.

When people grow old, their whole life undergoes a radical change. Among the things they need is constant help with daily mundane chores, though they insist on doing them on their own; they turn very moody; and on top of that they constantly keep carping about being neglected by their loved ones.

There is one more thing. A good number of them would, particularly Americans, prefer to age in their own home than a paid-for abode for the elderly, according to the late March survey from The Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research.

The poll found that 88 per cent would prefer to get long-term care services as they age at home or with loved ones. Just 12 per cent would want to receive care in a senior community or nursing home.

However, Americans’ concerns about nursing homes have eased somewhat since the ravages of the pandemic last year. The share saying they’d be very or extremely concerned about a loved one needing long-term care in a nursing home dropped from 60% in September to 44% in March.

Nursing homes and senior communities are coming out of a year in lockdown because of a sustained campaign to vaccinate residents and staff, to break the cycle of infections and deaths.

The UAE is many notches ahead in this regard. The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) continues to provide high-quality home mobile healthcare services for elderly citizens and people of determination who do not have access to healthcare services.

Emirati citizens who meet the requirements of the Home Healthcare Programme, including those with movement disorders or paralysis, bedridden people who need continuous follow-up, patients with mental illnesses, can avail of the services provided under this programme. This includes curative and preventive services; rehabilitation, and nursing services; laboratory tests; free in-house COVID-19 vaccinations; telemedicine services; medication home delivery; in-house flu vaccination, in addition to mobile apps for follow-up purposes.

Sharjah has a large-hearted leadership, not only for its citizens, but also for expatriates and visitors. Improving the plight of the aged is very much on its radar: it is specially concerned about the elderly and the sick, and those who, for some reason or the other, have no family member around to take care of them.

Based on the directives of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to look after the aged and meet their needs, the Sharjah Municipality announced that the elderly in Sharjah would be exempted from public parking fees.

There is more. The Ministry of Community Development’s vaccination campaign for senior citizens is quite laudable. The senior citizens vaccination campaign was launched on 10th January and achieved great response from hundreds of male and female senior citizens.

The care for the elderly acquires all the more urgency as we are living in abnormal times hijacked by one menacing disease: the coronavirus. Last year, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, GWU, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, stated that the UAE is keen to create the suitable conditions and harness available capacities to provide the appropriate care for senior citizens during the health crisis witnessed by the entire world caused by the COVID-19, pandemic.

The launch of the “Integrated Social Services System to Improve the Quality of Life of Senior Citizens,” in this regard is therefore quite impressive.

The system comprises three pillars, with the first focusing on preventive care, the second on providing senior citizens with comprehensive social care, and the third on social empowerment, to reinforce their contribution to the process of sustainable development in Abu Dhabi.

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