Formal senior caretaker training in the pipeline, says minister

Aziz Idris

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) is in discussion with several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to offer formal training for senior caretakers or care providers. This senior care accreditation can also be extended as part of a syllabus for trainees enrolled with National Service Programme (PKBN) to instil love and respect for the elderly.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin said this during the 17th Legislative Council (LegCo) session recently.

He was responding to a suggestion raised by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Iswandy bin Ahmad for the MCYS to consider offering accredited caregiver courses, especially for upskilling youth, when working as a senior caretaker or care provider.

Yang Berhormat Iswandy said not all senior citizens can rely on close families for care, adding that caring for the elderly demands a lot of time and energy. He cited a recent case in which an elderly was dropped off at the hospital for medical staff to handle, because the family struggled to care for the ageing parent.

By combining efforts with specialists, the establishment of a formal training platform will not only benefit the caretakers or care providers, but also family members, he said.

Weighing in on the issue, LegCo Speaker Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Dato Setia Haji Mohamed Taib said a study should be conducted to determine whether the matter of providing elderly care is merely a family problem or community problem. He reminded families not to rely solely on the government (hospital) to provide care for ageing parents.

Echoing the same sentiment, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud said, “Islam teaches Muslims to respect and love their parents and treat them well. It is our obligation as a family institution not to rely on others, and to give our ageing parents the care and attention they need.”

Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Iswandy bin Ahmad. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR