THE government plans to conduct a study to develop an integrated and sustainable long-term model for the care of elderly people.
This was necessary to allow improvements to be made to the National Plan of Action for Older Persons under the National Policy for Older Persons, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Dr Wan Azizah said the study was necessary because many children neglected their parents due to work and pressure to maintain their lifestyles.
“We have to look at it comprehensively because it is also wrong to penalise people but not solve the problem.
“The government will need to consider the views of children as they face difficulties in taking care of their parents while also having to take care of their own families. This is why a study will have to be done first.
“A diagnostic study will be done to develop a long-term model for elderly care that will factor in all situations so we can ensure that elderly care is achieved in a comprehensive manner.”
She said this after launching Tasputra Perkim, a daycare and training centre for children with disabilities.
Earlier in her speech, Dr Wan Azizah, who is women, family and community development minister, said welfare organisations could mobilise efforts to improve society’s wellbeing.
Bernama reported Dr Wan Azizah as saying that the ministry on its own would be unable to address all issues faced by women, families and communities.
“We at the ministry encourage welfare organisations and the corporate sector to work together.”
She said last year, the ministry, through the Social Welfare Department, spent RM13.67 million on 224 welfare organisations, including bodies that operated daycare centres such as Tasputra Perkim.
She said welfare organisations should not depend on grants provided by the ministry to carry out their programmes.
She encouraged the sharing of knowledge to enable organisations running care centres to learn the best practices for use at their centres.
Dr Wan Azizah said she hoped organisations that had received government grants could function on their own with support and aid from the corporate sector and other sources of finance.
In addressing the ageing welfare issue, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said her ministry was willing to have discussions with target groups, ministries and government agencies.
Recently, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Way-thamoorthy called on the government to implement laws to punish children who abused and neglected their parents.
He added that the government was studying the matter to ensure that the laws would be fair and comprehensive.
“It is inappropriate for children to neglect or abuse their parents and I think, if there is a need, we can have a law to protect senior citizens and ensure that their children don’t wash their hands of their responsibility to take care of their parents.”