KUCHING: The Sarawak government is working to reduce the number of senior citizens registered at Rumah Seri Kenangan (old folks homes) and Desa Bina Diri in the state.
Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the government intended to educate the community, especially the family members of the senior citizens to take care of them with full attention and responsibility.
“The government will always provide assistance and support to the senior citizens and the homeless by providing basic health and skills to help them to be independent,” she said while launching the Arts and Music Therapy Programme for senior citizens and the hardcore poor here today.
So far, Sarawak has two Rumah Seri Kenangan, in here and Sri Aman as well as a Desa Bina Diri with a total of 134 residents.
He said the Sarawak Social Welfare Department had allocated a total of RM14,896,280 for 21,881 recipients of the Old Folks Assistance (BOT) throughout Sarawak for January to February this year, amounting to RM350 per person.
“According to sources from the Malaysian Statistics Department, in 2018, Sarawak has 7.8% of elderlies aged 65 and above out of 2.8 million people in the state,” she added.
On the programme, Fatimah said it was intended to improve the emotional intelligence and competence of the institution’s staff to help enhance the cheerfulness as well as the well-being of senior citizens and the hardcore poor at the care centre. — Bernama