Tue, January 25, 2022

in-focus

Success of pilot programmes for the elderly could lead to more basic life-skills training


THE GOVERNMENT is considering increasing the number of “elderly school” programmes across the country within five years, following reports that nearly 1,500 such programmes successfully boosted seniors’ well-being, living environment and job skills.

Somkid Somsri, the director-general of the Department of Older Persons, said the government would proceed with four measures: enabling employment for elderly persons, building homes for senior citizens, providing home loans for the elderly, and an integrated pension system.
He said that as part of the 20-year strategy, the Social Development and Human Security Ministry had advanced the pioneer elderly school programmes through its 879 branches of the Elderly Centre for Quality of Life (ECQL) nationwide. 
As well, local administrative bodies also arranged similar elderly school programmes in 600 places – totalling 1,479 locations. The government has already allocated the budget to add 400 ECQL branches to cover the whole country within five years.
Somkid urged people to help promote the elderly school programmes so more seniors would come out of their homes to attend such activities alongside peers and thus reduce the risk of depression and loneliness.
Vadhanaphan Thipakham, 65, who attended the Tambon Nong Peung Municipality’s “Nong Peung Ayuwat Wittaya School” at Chiang Mai’s Saraphi district along with her 89-year-old mother Lamoon Thipakham, said the programme showed elderly students many interesting things. The programme has been taught every Wednesday since February 1 and runs until August 30.
For example, they were taught how to prevent and alleviate ailments such as weak bone condition and heart disease, information about writing a will, how to screen information from news, and how to communicate with people of different age groups. 
Vadhanaphan and Lamoon also applied the handicraft knowledge they had learned from the programme to make colourful Thai traditional merit-making flags for sale during the recent Songkran Festival to earn some extra money.

Published : May 31, 2017

By : THE NATION