TANGKAK: The Johor government wants all old folk homes managed by caring non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to register their centres with the Welfare Department.
Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said the move was to facilitate disbursement of cash aid to the occupants and for the Government to allocate annual grants to the homes.
He said the state had about 15 such homes in Johor Baru and several more located at the districts but some were managed on commercial basis.
“These centres impose certain fees to those who send their aged parents or relatives to be cared for, but many are managed by caring NGOs or individuals.
“For such centres, we want them to register with the relevant departments where financial aid can be channelled to the occupants,” he said after visiting the Nur Ehsan Old Folks Caring Centre at Parit Bunga. Abdul Ghani, who was accompanied by Ledang MP Hamim Samuri and Ledang district officer Amran Abdul Rahman, said the occupants, especially those aged and sick, were eligible for welfare aid.
He said the Federal Government, including the state, has special annual grants for such centres that could ease some of their financial burden.
Abdul Ghani said the Nur Ehsan home at Parit Bunga had about 22 old women and some were also sick and needed regular health and medical care.
He added that it was noble for the founder of the centre Md Sharipin Shahlan, to give shelter to the needy including some who had been living at Hospital Permai in Johor Baru for years.
“These women are former mental patients, but had no families nor homes to return to.”
He said one of them, Fatimah Ali, who hailed from Tanjung Keling in Malacca, had been staying at the hospital for more than 10 years.
The Mentri Besar said the state would study the need of setting up similar centres throughout Johor if there were many old people who had no families to care for them.
“The government needs to look into this situation where the aged have no home and family to care for them and provide shelter.
“The state will provide the necessary aid, including direct cash aid to them as they are eligible,” he added.
SOURCE: THE STAR, SEPTEMBER 3, 2010