Caring for the ElderlyWrite a speech entitled ‘Responsibility of a Caring Society towards the Elderly’.Good morning ladies and gentlemen. In conjunction with Senior Citizens Day, I would like to give a speech entitled ‘Responsibility of a Caring Society Towards the Elderly.’ Better living standards and health facilities together with sound development planning has resulted in longer lifespan. Recent population census indicate that the average life expectancy of the average Malaysian is 75 years for women and 73 for men.
Although this is an achievement of sorts, we should join forces and not shirk in our responsibilities to the elderly. How can we care for an ageing population? Caring for the elderly is the responsibility of the individual, society and the government. In Malaysia, the retirement age is 55, an age where most people are still active and can contribute to nation building. Perhaps the government should consider increasing the retirement age so that senior citizens can continue to lead productive lives.
Setting up community centers to care for the elderly in familiar surroundings should be considered. Community centers will provide the elderly with interesting activities to occupy their time instead of being cooped up at home to pass their time in idle pursuits. Besides providing the opportunity for them to interact with one another, activities can be organized so that they remain fit. It can also teach them to be independent.Adult daycare centers where the frail elderly can be cared for a few hours a day or overnight is another good move.
This will not only provide temporary relief to the family which takes care of the aged parents but it will also delay institutionalization.A good geriatric service will help to lighten the burden of looking after the elderly especially the sick and the infirm. At present, the absence of geriatric services makes it difficult to provide home care for the elderly.In conclusion, I would like to stress that society as a whole should take on the responsibility of caring for the elderly. We should realize thecontributions made by them.
With everyone playing their respective roles, Vision 2020, aimed at cultivating a caring society, can become a reality.