October 2, 2011

EMIRATES: Community formed to help older people

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates / Gulf News /  Society / October 2, 2011

UAE marks contributions of elderly

By Emmanuelle Landais, Senior Reporter

Elderly people gather to celebrate the International Day of the Elderly,
organised by the Community Development Authority at Intercontinental Hotel
in Dubai Festival City. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

Dubai: Elderly people were celebrated last night at an event to mark International Day of the Elderly, launched by the United Nations in 1990.

Weleef, which means ‘companion' in Arabic, is the name of an at-home care-giving initiative launched in May by the Community Development Authority in Dubai.

The evening was held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The International Day of the Elderly falls on October 1.

The celebrations were part of CDA's efforts to establish a cohesive community where people can enjoy sustainable prosperity, in addition to highlighting the great role played by the elderly in the development of the UAE.

"The UAE leadership realises the importance of providing social care to the elderly as citizens are the cornerstone of any development. The UAE has always provided decent living conditions for the elderly as we are obliged to pay back to a generation that sacrificed a lot for the country," said Khalid Al Kamdah, Director General of CDA.

"The integration of the elderly in the society is of great importance. Their knowledge and experience represent a rich legacy for the younger generation. They have also made significant contributions that paved the way for the renaissance of our nation today. CDA has recently launched Weleef, a home care programme for the elderly as part of integrating them into the society," he added.

Excellent opportunity

The evening provided an excellent opportunity for the participants to connect with the elderly people who came on CDA's invitation as well as a number of Weleef volunteers.

"This evening reflects CDA's commitment to provide all possible social welfare to one of the most deserving groups in the society. The CDA has launched an integrated programme to foster and protect the elderly in Dubai," said Shaikh Maktoum Bin Butti Al Maktoum, CEO, Social Care, CDA.

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