Tuesday October 9, 2012
Educate children to care for parents, say groups
PETALING JAYA: Senior citizen interest groups are calling for education programmes to curb the number of elderly folk being abandoned in hospitals.
National Council of Senior Citizens Organisations, Malaysia (Nacscom) president Datuk Dr Soon Ting Kueh said people needed to be educated on their responsibilities to the elderly.
“I am very upset to read of such cases. The education system needs to emphasise the importance of filial piety,” said Dr Soon, in response to a report in The Star on Monday.
He added that Nacscom had proposed a law which allows neglected, abandoned or abused senior citizens to take action against their children.
“But the main issue is to promote family values and instil a sense of obligation so they will not run away from their responsibilities,” said Dr Soon.
Usiamas Welfare Society president Jayalatchumy Cumaraswamy said most families abandoned their elders because they do not have the funds to take care of them.
“The authorities should look into day-care centres for senior citizens who can be looked after by community nurses,” said Jayalatchumy.
Meanwhile, Rumah Charis Home for the Aged Kuala Lumpur operations manager Suzanne Lee Mee Chee said old folks' homes should only take in senior citizens who have no one to care for them.
She added that the home receives at least two cases of children wanting to abandon their parents.
It was reported that up to June this year, 157 patients above 60 were abandoned by their families at public hospitals.
A total of 205 senior citizens were abandoned last year.
According to the Social Welfare Department, the number of old folk deserted by their families had steadily increased by 1% each year between 2008 and 2011, based on the number of admissions to its nine Rumah Seri Kenangan units.