A “Time Bank” set up by the government’s Department of Older Persons in mid-August has 120 volunteers taking care of home-bound senior citizens.
Department deputy chief Ramrung Worawat said this weekend volunteers were still being sought to take care of 200,000 ailing, home-alone seniors who were registered with local administrative bodies across the nation.
The volunteers earn one “point” for every hour of service, to be redeemed for the same amount of assistance when they reach old age and are in need.
The project is continuing on a trial basis through October and this month at 42 locations in 28 provinces and will be evaluated in December, Ramrung said.
Most of the volunteers – 17 men and 103 women – were of working age, though some were senior citizens, she said.
The majority are in Bangkok and elsewhere in the Central region.
Their main activities with the elders to whom they’re assigned are chatting, reading to them and accompanying them outdoors.
Thailand will officially become an ageing society by 2021, when the elderly account for 20 per cent of the population.