May 5, 2011

EMIRATES: Dubai launches home-care service for seniors

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DUBAI / Gulf News / Health / May 5, 2011

Service aimed at fostering independence and stopping elder abuse


By Alice Johnson, Staff Reporter

Eighty-eight-year-old Emirati Salem Saeed (centre) at his home in
Dubai with Mohammad Hussain and Hanan Ghuloom, caregivers from Waleef.
The Waleef community-outreach programme targets those who have lived alone,
never married and now find themselves needing support and care. 
Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News

DUBAI:  The Community Development Authority (CDA) has launched a home-care programme for seniors.

The programme has been launched under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also attended the opening ceremony yesterday.

Entitled ‘Waleef' — which means to "embody the feelings of mercy, respect and patience" — the programme aims to enable the seniors to live with peace, in dignity, with independence and with comprehensive integration in the community.

The community-outreach programme targets those who have lived alone, never married and now find themselves needing support and care. "The main aspects of the programme are to reach out to the elderly, so they don't feel lonely and they feel that there's someone keeping watch on them. The other is to empower and include them [in society] as well as engage the rest of society in their care," Shaikh Maktoum Bin Butti Al Maktoum, CEO, Social Care, CDA, told Gulf News.

Al Maktoum explained that there have been cases when previous carergivers have abused the trust of the elderly person, by renting out spare rooms in the house, or using their mobile phones.

"When you have eyes on the community, they stop this sort of bother," he said. A group of volunteers have come forward to spend time with the aged, to provide education and care.

‘Renaissance'

"The integration of the elderly in society is of great importance. Their expertise and experience represent a strong legacy for the younger generation. They also made significant contributions that paved the way for the renaissance of our nation today, and the least we can do is to give back to them and help provide a high standard of living," Khalid Al Kamda, Director General, CDA, said.

Assessments will be given to the programme participants at a preliminary stage, after which a plan of services required for each individual will be developed.

The CDA conducted a survey of 1,628 senior Dubai citizens, including 58 that lived at home alone. Four care-providers — three female and one male — have been appointed, to provide services, such as grooming. Two fully equipped cars have also been allocated to the programme for social, educational, rehabilitative, counselling and self-care services.

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