UAE provides integrated support system for senior citizens

Photo: WAM

The UAE government provides Emirati senior citizens support and care that ensures for them a decent life and maintains their dignity in society while benefitting from their significant expertise and knowledge in sustainable development.

The federal and local governments provide assistance in cash and kind to senior citizens. For example, the assistance provided by the Ministry of Community Development, MoCD, in 2017 and 2018 reached more than AED1.9 million.

Since the establishment of the Union in 1971, senior citizens have received more gains and their role in public life has increased, which mirrors the human and cultural dimension established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The cabinet's approval of the National Policy for Senior Emiratis has reflected the directions of the leadership led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to cater to all segments of the society and ensure the wellbeing of senior citizens as part of UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Centennial Strategy 2071.

The policy is based on an integrated care system to ensure that seniors remain active and facilitate their access to services. The policy includes seven main components: healthcare, community involvement and active life, effective civic participation, infrastructure and transportation, financial stability, safety and security, and quality of future life.

The Federal National Council recently approved a draft federal law related to senior citizens, The law, which defines senior citizens as UAE nationals over the age of 60, will establish teams to protect senior citizens, whose members are specialists with judicial authority and have the appropriate qualifications, determined by the articles of the law.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention has launched a number of initiatives to support health care for senior citizens, including the establishment of a database to monitor their life expectancy in the country, expand healthcare programmes and services, and home-care services in particular. The ministry also provides mobile clinic services in remote areas of Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.

The MoCD provides elementary, social, psychological and natural healthcare services to senior citizens through Senior Citizens' Homes, or through the Home Care for the Senior Citizens programme. It also launched "Masarrah", a community card for Emirati citizens, 60 years and above, which offers them a variety of services and exclusive privileges.

The Emirates Red Crescent provides various programmes for senior citizens and coordinates with other centres in the country especially on occasions such as World Senior Citizen's Day.

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