RIYADH: Experts at a Riyadh forum have lauded Saudi Arabia’s efforts in elderly care, led by King Salman and overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The symposium, titled “The Elderly: Protection and Care (A Right and Duty),” was organized by the Human Rights Commission at its Riyadh headquarters and presided over by Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri, the commission’s president.
Experts highlighted the importance of regulations like the Elderly Rights and Care Law, and examined the Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 programs, which aim to set a global standard for elderly care and rights protection.
The event included specialists from government sectors, civil society, and marked the first Arab Day of the Elderly, observed on Oct. 10 each year.
The first session of the symposium included a review of national frameworks by Dr. Talaat Hamza Al-Wazna, a member of the Elderly Committee of the Family Affairs Council.
Al-Wazna highlighted the Kingdom’s commitment to the well-being of the elderly through various initiatives, including the Basic Law of Governance, the Quality of Life Program and the goals of the Elderly Committee in the Family Affairs Council. He also discussed international frameworks such as the Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging, the Arab Older Population Strategy and the Elderly Rights and Care Law.
Ibtisam Al-Humaizi, director general of the General Administration for Elderly Care at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, discussed the Elderly Rights and Care Law, the ministry’s role in its implementation, and new elderly care services being launched in the Kingdom.
Dr. Waleed Al-Kreidi, director general of Home Health Care at the Ministry of Health, discussed the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on elderly populations, and provided an overview of dementia, including its types, prevalence, symptoms and implications on healthcare systems.
The second session discussed significant national efforts in legislation, institutions and procedures. Dr. Waleed Al-Malek of Saudi elderly support organization Waqar highlighted various programs and actions aimed at enhancing the lives of the elderly throughout the Kingdom.
Maha Al-Rabiah, director of the General Administration for Digital Knowledge at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, outlined the ministry’s efforts in raising awareness of technology among the elderly through national strategies.
In the third session, Dr. Mohammed bin Ali Al-Qahtani, adviser to the president of the Human Rights Commission for comprehensive access, discussed the rights of elderly individuals with disabilities. He highlighted the Kingdom’s efforts to protect the human rights of all citizens, emphasizing Article 27 of the Basic Law, which ensures support for citizens in cases of emergency, illness, disability and old age.
Al-Qahtani outlined regulations for the rights of individuals with special needs, including a range of disabilities.