Calls to Improve Senior Citizens Management

Malaysia became an ageing nation when 65 years and above population hit over 7.5% in 2020

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Malaysia is on the verge of becoming an ageing society, with 15% of the population estimated to be 60 or older by 2030. Malaysia has progressed in delivering successful primary public health care, food safety and vaccine-based immunity against infectious diseases since independence 60 years ago.

The government’s efforts to provide affordable healthcare also contributed to a 20-year rise in the average Malaysian – 73 years for men and 78 years for women.

Healthcare, financial system, community planning, and social services will all be affected by the country’s ageing population. Malaysia continues to be a newcomer when it comes to caring for the elderly, with a shortage of experts handling them being the greatest setback, according to Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, the Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat.

The Member of Parliament for Pengerang, Johor, has embarked on a personal crusade to address the country’s ageing population. She has begun her own efforts to assist senior citizens in her own constituency, believing that the country requires more experts to manage and treat senior citizens.

She said the centre for senior citizens in her constituency is available to senior citizens aged 60 and up and is the first-of-its-kind in the country, with exercise machines based on Japanese and Italian technology.

The centre emphasises the dynamic equilibrium protocol, in which patients are given an individual fitness schedule that is customised to their needs.

“We’ve also started a home health care initiative named ‘Penggerak Kesihatan Komuniti’ (Community Health Movement) to teach all Malaysians how to care for the elderly, including wheelchair protection, basic first aid, and bed mobility and posture change.

“These programmes will teach family members how to care about their elderly relatives while they are at home,” she said.

Prior to this, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was quoted as saying that more Malaysians will live longer in the future, contributing to an ageing population.

One factor contributing to this condition, according to Dr Mahathir, 95, is that Malaysians are living longer than the average life expectancy, and that the country has a relatively stable population and a decent healthcare system compared to many other developing countries.

Dr Wong Teck Wee, President of the Malaysian Healthy Ageing Society (MHAS), was quoted recently as saying that the standard of treatment for the elderly is already “very bad”.

“Malaysia should provide more day-care centres where children can drop off and pick up their elderly parents”.