GIS - 26 February, 2020: The government will be intransigent on any form of abuse that could be inflicted on our seniors and to that end, the Protection of Elderly Persons Act has been amended to better protect elderly persons.
This was the gist of the message of the Minister of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, yesterday, at the opening of a conference on "Pain Management for the Elderly" organised by the International Federation of Associations of the Elderly at the Institut de Français de Maurice.
Speaking about the welfare of the elderly, the Minister stressed that the Mauritian society must be able to adapt to the needs of old people while adding that the government has put in place several measures related to the autonomy of seniors. These include: access to financial resources and medical care, availability of daily living aids, access to leisure activities, the right to protection and security, and strengthening the family unit to prevent isolation of the elderly.
Mrs Daureeawoo also referred to the consolidation of the welfare state to ensure that the elderly age in a dignified manner. Government, she stated, has increased the basic retirement pension to Rs 9,000 in 2019 and expanded and improved medical services. She further recalled that additional support for the elderly who are bedridden is also provided. They receive a carer's allowance, so that they can have individual attention in the comfort of their own homes, she said.
Other measures include: home visits by doctors which have been extended to 6,700 bedridden persons aged 60 and above; daily living aids whose eligibility threshold has been revised to Rs 30,000 per month in 2016; and the establishment of recreational centres in Pointe Aux Sables, Belle Mare and Pointe aux Piments, among others.
The Minister also stressed that the well-being of seniors requires a collective effort. Government, she added, is committed to doing its part, not only by ensuring the continued strengthening of the welfare state, but also by creating the climate for a thriving economy, which is essential to finance that welfare state. She emphasised the importance of working with all existing partners, NGOs, associations, medical professionals, civil society while acknowledging the effort of each individual who lives with the seniors.
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