North Aceh (ANTARA) - Leaving the elderly in nursing homes is not part of the culture of the Indonesian nation, according to Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini.

"This is 'an imported culture'. I believe that this cultural practice is not aligned with our own," she remarked while attending the National Elderly Day commemorative event in North Aceh, Aceh, on Wednesday.

Rismaharini acknowledged the fact that nursing homes can accommodate senior citizens abandoned by their families.

However, reliance on services provided by nursing homes might make people overlook the need to take care of their parents and tend to entrust and leave them in other people's care.

"Is that good? Our nation and our religions do not teach us to do that," she emphasized.

There is no reason for anyone to abandon their parents since Indonesian culture condones such a practice, she added.

"I have been reading reports and attempting to identify the reasons behind people abandoning their parents. I have found out that the reasons are not limited to economic issues. In fact, there are successful people who are not visiting their parents," she stated.

Bearing that in mind, she emphasized the importance of instilling the values of care for the elderly in people from an early age so that they can be passed down to their children and grandchildren.

Rismaharini called on all relevant stakeholders to pay special attention to the need to teach children how to properly treat the elderly in a bid to reduce the number of abandoned senior citizens.

In North Aceh, this year's National Elderly Day celebration involves the government offering various forms of aid to a total of 4,982 senior citizens. The aid includes 27 houses built under the Integrated Prosperous Houses Program and free medical treatments, including cataract surgeries.

Additionally, the government is making electronic identity cards and household membership documents for the elderly and administratively registering their unregistered marriages.

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Translator: Sean F, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Anton Santoso
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