The Gulf Today - - OPINION -

To for­get the el­derly is to ig­nore the wis­dom of the years, once wrote Don­ald Laird. As the world marks the In­ter­na­tional Day for Older Per­sons on Mon­day, the cru­cial con­tri­bu­tion be­ing made by this hugely re­spectable seg­ment of so­ci­ety should be recog­nised and saluted. As per United Na­tions es­ti­mates, al­most 700 mil­lion peo­ple are now over the age of 60. By 2050, 2 bil­lion peo­ple, over 20 per cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion, will be 60 or older. With this in mind, en­hanced at­ten­tion to the par­tic­u­lar needs and chal­lenges faced by most older peo­ple is clearly re­quired.

It’s a col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity of those liv­ing in any coun­try to care for the el­derly.

Thank­fully, coun­tries like the UAE leave no stone un­turned to help the aged and de­serve praise for do­ing so.

For ex­am­ple, the Shar­jah So­cial Ser­vices Depart­ment (SSSD) is all set to launch the seventh El­derly Ser­vices Fo­rum 2018, to be held un­der the slo­gan, “Shar­jah Age-friendly City,” to high­light the most prom­i­nent ser­vices and pro­grammes of age-friendly cities.

The SSSD has also con­ducted a sur­vey on en­ter­tain­ment pro­grammes for the el­derly, aim­ing to achieve the depart­ment’s vi­sion of pro­mot­ing a safe and se­cure so­ci­ety and en­hanc­ing fam­ily sta­bil­ity.

The ges­ture comes in line with the SSSD’S strat­egy to em­power the el­derly, dis­cussing the most prom­i­nent pro­pos­als that serve sev­eral old peo­ple.

In Dubai, the Dubai Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has pro­vided ded­i­cated walk­ways for the el­derly peo­ple on pub­lic beaches. The spe­cial path­ways have been built for the Peo­ple of De­ter­mi­na­tion and the el­derly to en­able them to cross the beach and reach the sea eas­ily.

Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the UAE at the United Na­tions, pointed out in Geneva re­cently that the UAE has been pay­ing proper at­ten­tion and care to older per­sons and the Min­istry of Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment is work­ing with civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions to pro­vide an in­te­grated so­cial care and in­clu­sion sys­tem.

The coun­try has been un­der­tak­ing ad­di­tional ef­forts to mit­i­gate chal­lenges fac­ing older per­sons. Pro­grammes are in place pro­tect­ing el­derly per­sons from so­cial ex­clu­sion and pro­vid­ing them with ser­vices, while re­spect­ing the dig­nity of every per­son.

All this is pos­si­ble due to the UAE so­ci­ety’s deep-rooted val­ues of caring and love for older peo­ple.

The In­ter­na­tional Day of Older Per­sons of­fers an­other op­por­tu­nity to high­light the im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tions that older peo­ple make to so­ci­ety. ■■■

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bahrain

© PressReader. All rights reserved.