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RIYADH: It is important to ensure the social protection of the elderly, whether in terms of quality of life, assistance or the investment of their skills in various fields. Society, however, should know that these rights are part of the social norms and traditions of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Cabinet approved a new law aimed at protecting the rights of the Kingdom’s elderly citizens earlier this month.
Saad Al-Hammad, spokesperson for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, said: “The new law strengthens the position of the elderly in society and is based on our customs and traditions, giving priority to the elderly. in services and waiting areas. and invest their skills in a variety of areas.
This legislation, says Al-Hammad, grants the elderly special privileges and preserves their social, financial and legal rights. It also provides for harsh penalties, such as fines and imprisonment, for those who abuse older people, whether they are older people themselves or the private and government institutions that provide services to them.


This legislation, according to an official, grants the elderly special privileges and preserves their social, financial and legal rights.

He noted that older people have the right to choose to live with their families and that accommodation in nursing homes depends on the circumstances of older people and what serves the public interest.

According to a UN report, people aged 65 and over made up about 3.4% of the Saudi population. (Provided)

“The National Centers are part of the work of transforming services for the elderly, with the aim of ensuring their well-being and their social integration, improving their status and helping families to provide care services to those who need it,” Al-Hammad explained. .
According to section 8 of the law, if a provider is unable to support the elderly financially and no one in the family of the elderly person can support them either, the department must support them financially, according to this which is specified by the regulations.
The ministry has an obligation to enable older people to live in an environment that preserves their rights and dignity, and to raise awareness to clarify their rights. The ministry is also responsible for providing reliable statistical data on the elderly, which will benefit scholars in conducting studies and research.
The law also obliges the ministry to organize and implement appropriate programs for the elderly, to improve their skills, experiences and hobbies, to enhance their integration into society, to encourage able-bodied elderly people to work, to support their employers and to promote voluntary activities in the service of the elderly. .
The ministry should rehabilitate public and commercial facilities, residential areas, the surrounding environment and mosques to ensure that they are adapted to the needs of the elderly. They should also allocate places for the elderly in public establishments and at public events and urge the private sector, business owners and civil bodies to take care of them.
Government agencies should prioritize older people seeking basic services, especially health and social services.
The ministry must also grant elderly people a privilege card that allows them to benefit from public services to meet the necessities of their daily lives.
According to a UN report, people aged 65 and over made up around 3.4% of the Saudi population, a figure that could rise to 6% by 2030.
Eng. Badr Al-Eyada, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Organization for the Support of the Elderly, pointed out that it has conducted a study on the situation of care for the elderly and launched a guide to services for the elderly. The guide presents the services and facilities provided by the government, private and civil sectors in 13 regions of the Kingdom.
Al-Eyada said his organization established and operated the first telephone consultation unit for the elderly in the Kingdom, which reflects its dedication to programs aimed at facilitating telephone consultations for the medical, psychological, social and legal needs of the elderly. elderly across the Kingdom.
He added that the approved law would provide the elderly with the care, attention and protection they deserve and help ensure social security for the elderly, while significantly raising awareness of the rights of this group.

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