There will be increased demand for aged care as the number of senior citizens is expected to double in the next decade.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that enhancing welfare and care systems was one of the strategies to increase liveability in Penang and create an inclusive society.
“An integrated senior living resort is very much in line with the state’s 2030 vision of a family-focused, green and smart state,” said Chow.
He was speaking at a signing ceremony between two private companies which launched the first integrated living resort for the elderly to be developed in Balik Pulau, Penang.
Chow said that with RM180mil worth of direct domestic investment, the integrated resort would contribute to job employment for youths.
“It will also set a new trend in meeting the needs of seniors.
“It is a Penang-based nursing facility with international standards, akin to those in mature countries like Australia,”
State local government, housing, town and country planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the Penang government would be looking at existing jurisdictions and best practices from other countries to come up with guidelines to regulate aged care facilities in the state.
He said there were currently no guidelines to govern and monitor the wellness and aged care facilities in the country.
Welcoming the new venture, Jagdeep said the facility was a good model for the local council to work with to determine and set up some local guidelines for such ventures.
“Aged care facilities should be affordable for senior citizens who need them.
“The elderly require proper medical care.
“Currently, most of them are placed in nursing homes,” he said during the signing ceremony of the project at Evergreen Laurel Hotel recently.
On a separate matter, Chow said the Penang government was in the process of appointing a consultant for landscaping works for the Gurney Wharf project, touted as the state’s first reclaimed waterfront.
He said the appointment of the consultant was expected to be completed by next month.
Thereafter, he added, the state would begin calling for tenders for the various components of the Gurney Wharf project.
Chow said of the 52.4ha reclaimed land along the Gurney Drive foreshore, only a little more than 16ha would be used for a public park.