23/06/2024 08:16 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 (Bernama) -- Elder care caregivers need to be accredited to encourage locals to consider it as a career and reduce dependency on foreign workers, the Malaysian Coalition on Ageing (MCOA) said.

The National Advisory and Consultative for Older Person member Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said a standard training syllabus on elder care also needs to be created to provide qualifications, and that such suggestions would change the landscape of elder care and boost the quality of life for seniors in the country.

"The government will hopefully be able to develop a clear human capital strategy to estimate the cost of elder care, including the number of workers needed, the mix of skills, qualifications, training curriculum and financial incentives suitable for their work,” he said in a statement here today.

Lee said the MCOA also suggested that the government prepares more subsidies and payments for elder care facilities run by welfare bodies that provide services to senior citizens, as well as more discounts for public transport and medical bills for senior citizens, in addition to free transport to hospitals, pharmacies, supermarkets and libraries for those who are living independently.

“We are also mooting the provision of free computer gadgets or discount vouchers for computer purchases and free internet services for B40 senior citizens who undergo online learning,” he said.

Lee said that life-long learning among senior citizens will boost their mental health, strengthen physical health and help them establish new social connections.

The MCOA is also urging the government to immediately gazette the regulations for the Private Aged Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 2018 to enable easy planning and investment in premises greatly needed for elder care.

"We ask the government to prioritise life-long vaccination for seniors living in elderly care facilities, and the local councils must continue to play an active role in upgrading roadside pedestrian walkways to provide access to all.

"We’re also seeking that facilities for the disabled be expanded to senior citizens, such as special parking lots for the elderly and urge local councils and housing developers to consider user-friendly designs for those afflicted with dementia,” he added.

The MCOA is also recommending that the government set up a ministry specifically to fulfil the needs of senior citizens and provide integrated services for them.


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