THE Perak government is introducing a programme to improve the elderly care ecosystem to make it more proactive and dynamic, says Salbiah Mohamed (pic).
The Women, Social Welfare, Cooperative and Entrepreneur Development Committee chairman said the state would work with the Social Welfare Department and non-governmental organisations to improve the system through the Santunan Kasih Perak programme to be launched on Oct 6.
She said the state was aware that it faced an ageing population with an increasing number of elderly people.
“In the Perak Sejahtera 2030 plan, one of the priorities is to ensure the well-being of the elderly.
“The Santunan Kasih Perak programme underlines the objective of providing professional care for the elderly.
“Apart from that, the programme also intends to provide skilled labour to care for the elderly.
“A better elderly care ecosystem will be able to provide a space in the economic sector for groups who want to increase their income by providing services for the elderly,” she said when replying to questions posed by Tiw Tee Siang (PH-Tronoh).
Tiw had asked about the state government’s initiatives to look after senior citizens who need full-time care but did not have family to rely on.
Salbiah said as a start, the programme targeted training on basic care for the elderly and those suffering from dementia while continuing efforts to produce skilled caregivers.
She said 170 volunteers from the department, NGOs and selected individuals had benefited from a training session held in collaboration with Universiti Kuala Lumpur Royal College of Medicine Perak.
“I call on other stakeholders, especially investors, financiers, or any parties who have expertise and ability in this sector, to join the state government to strengthen the elderly care ecosystem,” she added.
Salbiah said the programme also included plans to build a database for caregivers and training schedules
“Apart from that, reskilling and upskilling programmes are also carried out at the various Activity Centres for Older Persons (Pawe) in Perak to provide a safer space for senior citizens to stay active in the local community.
“The training includes growing hydroponic vegetables and fertigation as well as creating handicraft and manufacturing frozen food,” she added.