KUALA LUMPUR: The government must ensure nursing homes do not become dumping grounds by people who do not want to take care of their elderly parents.
Senator Siti Aishah Shaik Ismail said while nursing homes can help take care of elderly people who may be ill or have mobility issues, it should not be an easy way out for children to abandon their parents.
“People who send their parents there should do so with their best interests at heart, such as when there is no one at home to take good care of them.
“We do not want to create a culture where people are too lazy to take care of their elderly parents,” she said when debating the Private Aged Healthcare Facilities and Services Bill 2017.
She said it is also important to prevent nursing homes from being overcrowded by ensuring that it adhere to a rated capacity.
Siti Aishah said she had come across nursing homes which are so crowded that the beds are arranged next to each other.
The senator noted that some nursing homes take in too many occupants driven by profit.
"There should be mechanisms to regulate the fees charged by nursing homes, making the industry overly competitive while neglecting the quality of services provided.
Senator Datuk Seri Khairuddin Samad said elderly people deserve to enjoy their later phase of life in peace.
“They have worked all their lives to take care of their families.
“As such, children should be educated not to be too busy with works or personal life and give tons of reasons that they might not have the time for taking care of their parents.
“Parents have the duty to rear and educate their children, and children who have come of age have the duty to support and assist their parents,” he said.
Khairuddin added that some nursing homes may appear large and glamorous on the outside, but sometimes what's on the inside reveals a different picture.
Malaysia's aging population means that the pressure to care for an increasingly frail generation is mounting on nursing homes and the children of elderly parents.
The government, in promoting healthy living among the aged, tabled the Private Aged Healthcare Facilities and Services Bill 2017 in Dewan Rakyat on Oct 24.
The Bill requires all aged healthcare facilities with four or more residents to register with the government and adhere to a minimum standard for services and charges.
Individuals who failed to apply for a licence will be liable to a maximum fine of RM30,000.
A further maximum fine of RM1,000 per day will be imposed for continuing offence.
Any corporate body, partnership or society that fails to be licensed shall be liable to a maximum fine of RM100,000 and a further maximum fine of RM3,000 per day for continuing offence.