Under the patronage and presence of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Community Development Authority (CDA) in Dubai launched Weleef Home Care Programme for the elderly in Majlis Jumeirah. This initiative is part of CDA's efforts to enhance social care services and social integration for the elderly in Dubai.
Following the launch of the new programme, His Highness Sheikh Mansour accompanied by His Excellency Khaled Al Kamda, Director General of CDA; Sheikh Maktoum Bin Butti Al Maktoum, CEO Social Care at CDA; and media representatives visited an elderly Emirati’s home in Al Beda'A area to learn more about the needs of the older people.
Through the programme, CDA seeks to foster, protect and develop the lifestyle of Dubai’s elderly population by offering services, programmes and the necessary care inside their own homes, in addition to training and educating service providers on the best practices of proper care, thus paving the way for the elderly to live in dignity, independence and comprehensive integration within the community.
"The integration of the elderly in the society is of great importance. Their expertise and experience represent a strong legacy for the younger generation. They also made significant contributions that paved the way for the renaissance of our nation today, and the least we can do is to give back to them and help provide a high standard of living," said Mr Al Kamda.
"The name of the programme - 'Weleef' - embodies the feelings of mercy, respect and patience which is exactly what the elderly need from their families and communities. CDA will co-operate with social institutions and organizations from the public and private sectors to launch initiatives for the integration of the elderly," added Al Kamda.
In a preparatory stage to launch Weleef, CDA launched last year the screening of a short film titled, ‘Home Care for the Elderly’, which aimed at educating families on how best to care for the elderly in every aspect of daily life. The film focused on the methods of dealing with the elderly such as caring for their personal hygiene, appearance, food, and morale, through appreciation and giving them the opportunity to express their views.
As a preliminary phase, the Community Development Authority conducted a survey that covered 1628 elderly citizens in Dubai, including 58 of them living alone at home. They have all been registered as a first stage in 'Weleef' to be followed by a series of steps for the future. CDA also appointed four care providers - three females and one male - to provide services for the elderly. Two cars have been allocated for the programme equipped to provide the best level of services including social, educational, rehabilitation, counseling and self-care services.
The Community Development Authority also attracted a group of volunteers who spend time with the elderly, educating, and caring for them. "This initiative is in line with the directives of Dubai Government’s to provide high quality social services and health services that contribute to the overall social welfare of residents. It is also part of CDA’s strategic objective to achieve social protection, empowerment and integration of all sections of the society," said Sheikh Maktoum.
Weleef Home Care Programme for the elderly includes an assessment of the elderly in the preliminary stage, and then developing a plan of services required by each individual. The programme includes social, educational, rehabilitation, self-care, entertainment and co-ordination services.
The Community Development Authority will collaborate with a number of social institutions from the public and private sectors to promote a culture of caring for the elderly, and raise community awareness of the need to protect them from social withdrawal, as well as highlight their efforts and achievements to educate the new generations to follow their example.