KUALA LUMPUR, August 16 — The 7,000-strong members of Rukun Tetangga will assist dementia patients and their families, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said today.
The Star reported Yeoh as saying that training will be given to them, as well as senior citizens’ associations, so that these groups and the Rukun Tetangga will be able to assist families and those with dementia in the community.
“We want to give them training for them to be the hands and feet, to look out for people with dementia symptoms.
“When people (families and community) do not understand the signs and there is screaming in the house and call the police, for instance, that can be avoided if they understand some of the signs of dementia and provide support, ” she said during a press conference after launching the 21st Asia Pacific Regional Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation on Friday.
She said that Malaysians must always be prepared as they would all grow old one day.
Malaysia is expected to be an ageing population in 2030, when 15 per cent of its population are aged 60 and above, with these senior citizens expected to increase to 9.8 per cent of Malaysia’s population next year.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), the number of senior citizens in Malaysia aged 65 and above increased by 100,000 people to 2.19 million in the second quarter this year from the same period last year.
DOSM expects the elderly aged 65 and above to form 6.7 per cent of the total population this year.