This section emphasizes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to improve the quality of care provided to the elderly through the introduction of various initiatives aimed at improving their quality of life and the value of services provided to them. Here, you will gain insight into the rights of the elderly highlighted by four core principles, social care houses and their conditions of acceptance, services and activities provided in social care houses, and a list of efficient social care houses to choose from. Additionally, this section introduces, Waqar, a non-profit association supporting the elderly, the services launched by the Ministry of Health dedicated to the elderly, and the Taqdeer service launched by the Ministerial Agency of Civil Affairs and Elderly.
What is aging?
- Aging is a biological fact that has its own way of occurring outside human control.
- Some reach the age of seventy and are in good health, while some require the care of others.
- There are several factors that affect the health of the elderly, they may be individual or environmental.
- The common problems that affect the elderly vary between physical, social and psychological.
- The importance of healthy aging lies in the continued independence in performing daily needs.
Aging occurs at the level of physical changes as a result of the accumulation of large amounts of products of the reactions of molecules and cells over time; This leads to a gradual decline in physical and psychological capabilities, and an increase in the possibility of disease, and eventually death, but these changes are not inevitable, as some people may reach the age of seventy in good health, while others become debilitated and need the care of others.
The government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has paid great attention to caring for the elderly, as many initiatives have been launched to improve the quality of life and raise the level of services provided to the elderly in society in general and in care homes supervised by the Ministry in particular, where the elderly work to make several contributions to society through volunteer work, and transfer experiences and knowledge to other generations through the experience they gained in life. To know the amount of contributions they make, every year the International Day of Older Persons or the International Day of Older Persons is celebrated.
The Ministry aims, through interaction with the International Day for the Elderly, to emphasize that the benign Islamic values call for reverence and respect for the elderly, highlighting the role the elderly plays in the development and service of society and their ability to give. Bnefiting from the experiences and energies of the elderly people in both the professional and scientific aspects, and introducing local and international efforts related to the elderly category. Supporting the elderly and raising awareness of their rights and taking care of them.
The Ministry provides the elderly with comprehensive care (health, social and psychological) through the social care homes which are spread throughout the regions of the Kingdom, which currently are 12 homes, in addition to providing financial and in-kind assistance to the needy elderly and their families through the Social Security Agency, and prosthetic devices such as wheelchairs, medical beds, headphones, etc., and a program Home care for the elderly within the family framework through a program of follow-up visits to them. Within the National Transformation Program, the Ministry is working on initiatives to establish 5 model oases for the elderly compatible with their needs, including all health services, physiotherapy and a recreational club, and enabling the private sector to establish 13 specialized civil societies for the elderly, whose services cover all regions of the Kingdom.
For more information about elderly care,
please click Here.
The aging process is a biological fact that has its own way of occurring outside human control, and of course its definition varies from one society to another. Age is taken into consideration to determine a person’s aging, as there are other factors that determine the retirement age, such as: the ability to perform the work entrusted to them, meaning that aging begins when a person is unable to participate effectively in society.” Gorman 2000.
Recent statistic from the Department of Statistics indicates that the number of elderly people is approximately one million and three thousand, or 5% of the total population. Article 27 of the Basic Law preserves the rights of the elderly, as it stipulates that “the state guarantees the right of the citizen and his family, in case of emergency, disease, disability, and old age, and supports the social security system, and encourages institutions and individuals to contribute to charitable works.” Just as caring for and caring for the elderly is extremely important, this group who has devoted their lives to giving and sacrifice deserves respect, gratitude and care through serving them to the fullest and providing facilities and provide the necessary facilities for them.
In 1991, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a document of principles relating to the elderly, which are:
The principle of "independence"
It is the right of the elderly to have adequate food, water, shelter, clothing, health care, the possibility of gainful employment, education and training.
The principle of "participation"
It means that older persons must participate actively in the formulation and implementation of policies that directly affect their well-being, provide younger generations with their knowledge and skills, and be able to form their own movements or associations.
The principle of "care"
It is the provision of opportunities to benefit from family care and health care for the elderly, and to enable them to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms when they reside in a shelter or a care or treatment facility.
The principle of "self-realization"
It means enabling the elderly to seek opportunities for the full development of their potentials by providing them with access to educational, cultural, spiritual and recreational resources of society.
The principle of “dignity”
It is enabling the elderly to live in conditions of dignity and security, without being subject to any exploitation or abuse, physical or mental, and they should be treated fairly, regardless of their age, gender, racial or ethnic background, or whether they are disabled, and regardless of their financial status Or any other situation, and to be appreciated regardless of the extent of their economic contribution.
Electronic Services for Elderly People
The Kingdom generally provides electronic services to all citizens and residents, without discrimination based on gender, age, religion, race, or otherwise. Despite this, it excludes the elderly by providing them with special services to meet their needs, in order to protect their rights. Some of the services are:
- (Sehah) Application - Ministry of Health
- Booking Medical Appointments (Mawid) - Ministry of Health
- Medical Consultation - Ministry of Health
- Psychological and Mental Consultation – Ministry of Health
- Home Health Care - Ministry of Health
- Home Health Care for the Elderly - Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development
- ePrescription - Ministry of Health
- Medical Treatment Services - Ministry of Health
Social care homes
These homes aim to accommodate and care for every male or female citizen who has reached sixty or more and is unable to do his own affairs and his family and relatives are not able to do so, in addition to caring for the sick and elderly who have no breadwinner and are referred from hospitals, if they are free of infectious and mental diseases.
Through these homes, government residential care, which includes social, medical and psychological care, and whose activities vary, such as cultural, professional, recreational and sports activities, is supervised by a functional body that includes all disciplines to carry out the services entrusted to it to serve the residents of the house.
Conditions for accepting the elderly in the home
- Saudi national.
- That he /she has reached the age of sixty or more, and aging has caused him/her incapable of work or to carry out his/her own affairs. It is permissible to accept someone under the age of sixty if the social research proves the need to include him in the home services.
- Medical examination proving the candidate is free from communicable, contagious, psychological, or mental diseases that pose a threat to his safety, or a danger to the rest of the elders.
- The absence of the family, or its inability to provide the services needed by the elderly.
A list for Social Care Houses
Social Care House
017 321 2978
Prince Sultan Street, the Industrial Region, Jazan 82614
Port Street Bani Haritha, 4911, Al Madinah Al Munawwarah
011 207 5144
Al-Imam Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Muhammad
012 732 5030
Al Khalidiah, Taif, 26521
017 224 4859
8802 King Faisal Street, Al Qura, Abha, 625415202
Elderly Care Center in Al Abha
016 354 9316
Al Shefa’a, Unaizah 56465
012 544 9922
Elderly Care Center in Makkah Almukarrmah
Saudi Society for the Support of the Elderly "Waqar"
It is a non-profit charitable association founded in 1437 AH and its main headquarters in the city of Riyadh, and it seeks to support the elderly, support their rights, help in their care and raise the level of interest in their status, and the association aims to:
- Achieving complementarity between sectors that serve the elderly.
- Creating programs and initiatives that suit them, in addition to contributing to improving the type of services provided to them.
- Working to support efforts to enrich knowledge in the areas of the elderly and their care.
- Enhancing the status of the elderly in society, highlighting their role, and raising awareness of their issues.
- Employing the energies of volunteers in an optimal manner to support and serve them.
- Mawid service: It is an electronic service provided by the Saudi Ministry of Health; To enable the beneficiary to book his appointments at primary health care centers and manage these appointments by modifying or canceling them, as well as managing his other appointments in any hospital he is referred to.
- The (Seha) application: which provides remote medical consultations through video calling, text messages, or voice messages.
- (937) Service: which provides medical consultations via voice call.
- Primary health care centers, through the interactive map, from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM.
- Urgent health care centers, through the health centers on duty (24 hours).
- Hospital emergency departments, through the interactive map (24 hours).
Residential Support Programs
A service provided by the Ministry of Housing targeting male and female citizens, enabling them to register in the housing support request lists without any fees to verify their eligibility to receive housing support and then determine who is eligible. Citizens can also calculate the amount of support that the Ministry about ready-made housing units will provide, housing units under construction, and real estate loan by filling in the required data in the housing support calculator service.
The Ministry of Housing has worked in integration and partnership with NGOs and civil institutions to achieve housing support by providing housing units for deserving and most needy families in society and covered under the auspices of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development.
Services dedicated for the elderly
Enabling the elderly and people with special needs to request civil status services at home.
For more information click Here.
Elderly education and literacy
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to tackle and eliminate illiteracy; therefore, the nation has worked tirelessly to prepare special programs for adult education, under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, targeting all illiterate individuals and offering them education free of charge. The Ministry of Education worked on a clear roadmap to tackle spelling illiteracy in various regions and governorates across the Kingdom, in addition to conducting transitional campaigns to reach residents in remote areas and educate them, thus resulting in a reduction in illiteracy, decreasing it to 5.6%. The Kingdom guarantees the rights of older persons through the legislation and system of adult education and literacy in Saudi Arabia.
Initiatives and Services for the Elderly:
- Registration Service in the Learned Neighborhood Center Programs
A system for registering beneficiaries in the programs of the Learned Neighborhood Center, for the benefit of Saudi citizens, and Saudi women aged 15 years and over, who wish to develop their life in relation to educational and professional skills. The General Administration of Continuing Education is working to update the service link according to the departments holding the forum.To apply for the service, click here.
- Adult Education Schools
The General Administration of Continuing Education works to provide the formal education service for the elderly, free of charge, for those who did not have the opportunity to continue their education for all levels of education including, primary, intermediate and secondary, of the Ministry of Education in all regions of the Kingdom.To apply for the service, click here.
- Registration for Summer Campaigns
Selective, focused, campaigns carried out for a duration of two months and held in places where it is difficult to prepare regular classes. This service targets students in remote areas and a link to the service is published periodically when beginning the activity at the beginning of the summer vacation. To apply for the service, click here.
- Ain Channel Service for Adult Education and Educational Enhancement Resources for Adults
A service targeting adult education students, which broadcasts educational programs and lessons for students through an educational channel dedicated to the education of the elderly. To apply for the service, click here.
- Registration Service in An Illiterate Society
A service provided through a flexible and attractive alphabetical literacy educational program with the provision of financial incentives to increase enrollees motivation to join the program. The illiterate applicants benefit from this service at their location, whether in the city or the village, and the service link is published at the beginning of each new academic year. To apply for the service, click here.
- Registration Service in the Literacy Community
A service provided to the elderly through an alphabetical literacy educational program. The service is flexible and attractive, with the provision of material incentives to increase the enrollees motivation towards joining the program. Illiterate applicants benefit from this service at home in all regions, cities and governorates of the Kingdom, and the General Administration of Continuing Education will publish the service link at the beginning of each new academic year. To apply for the service, click here.
- Registration Service for the Continuing Education Forum
This service is a special system for registering for workshops and events of the Continuing Education Forum, targeting all teachers and leaders of continuing education schools, directors, heads of adult education departments, supervisors and interested academics and individuals interested inside and outside the Ministry. The General Department of Continuing Education is working to update the service link in a renewed manner according to the departments holding the forum. To apply for the service, click here.
- Comprehensive Electronic System Service for Adult Education
A system that links education departments in regions and governorates with the General Administration of Continuing Education in order to facilitate the usual administrative processes such as raising demand and various nominations. The service targets adult education departments and sections in education departments in all regions and governorates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To apply for the service, click here.
Common health problems in elderly people
The situation of the elderly requires careful follow-up of their health status periodically, because they are vulnerable to several problems (physical - mental and psychological - social).
Preventing these problems and following up on them comes in order to prevent the accumulation of negative effects of their risk factors, which leads to reducing the risk of infection and the risk of complications.
First: Physical health problems:
- Chronic diseases such as: diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, enuresis, osteoporosis, impaired vision and hearing, cancer.
- Heart disease.
- Accidents of falls and fractures.
- Diseases of the musculoskeletal system, such as: arthritis, loss of balance, walking disorder, difficulty or lack of movement.
- Malnutrition (wasting or obesity).
- Respiratory diseases such as: influenza and pneumonia.
- Diseases of the nervous system such as: stroke, tremor (Parkinson's).
- Digestive system problems such as: weak sense of taste, reduced ability of the stomach and intestines to digest and absorb food, constipation.
- Oral and dental problems such as: teeth falling out.
Second: Mental and psychological problems:
- Mental and psychological diseases such as: dementia, Alzheimer's, depression, delirium.
- Sleeping disorder
Third: Social Problems:
- Social isolation.
- Low level of job performance.
For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health page here.