The Council of Ministers approved the law for the protection of the rights of the elderly people and their care. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman chaired the virtual session of the Cabinet.
The new move is a landmark initiative aimed at enhancing the status and well-being of the elderly, as well as maintaining their security and safety, protecting their rights, and ensuring their proper family and community care. There are provisions in the law to protect the physical and psychological rights of the elderly people.
According to the draft law, it is not permitted to send an elderly man or woman to a shelter or care facility without their consent. It dictates that elderly people have the right to live with their families, who in turn must respond to their needs in dignity.
The law also aimed to implement a system promoting volunteer activities in elderly care and offering special facilities for them in public and commercial places, residential areas, and mosques. While approving the draft law, the Shoura Council called on the private sector to facilitate a healthy and enjoyable environment for older people by opening community centers and social clubs.
The Saudi government’s Unified National Platform reported, quoting the statistics of the Department of Statistics, that the number of elderly people in the Kingdom crossed one million, which represent five percent of the total population.
Article 27 of the Basic Law preserves the rights of the elderly as it states: “The state guarantees the right of the citizen and his family, in the event of emergency, disease, disability, and old age, supports the social security system, and encourages institutions and individuals to contribute to charitable work.”
The government launched a series of initiatives to protect the rights of the elderly.
The initiatives include setting up of Waqar, a non-profit association, which seeks to support the elderly, protect their rights, and help in their care.