Palu, C Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf Al Jufri has called on the community at large to participate in caring for the elderly, especially the ones who have been neglected.

"We still have 2.9 million elderly people who are being neglected. We want to see how far people`s family values and compassion can take them and their involvement in such community affairs. This spirit has to be cultivated," he said here on Tuesday.

Salim noted there was widespread poverty among families, which became a problem in caring for the elderly. The minister added, even though there were ways in which the elderly could be taken care of, such as home care, families were still finding it difficult to make the minimal effort.

"We understand that there are families who are experiencing extreme poverty, but there needs to be an understanding that they are here in this world because of their elderly parents. It can evoke a sense of enthusiasm among them to care for their elderly," he said.

According to Salim, the number of abandoned elderly people across Indonesia is massive and, therefore, the involvement of all sections of the community is as important as help from the district government.

"What we need to instil in the community is a sense of camaraderie and the need to help each other. That is an asset all of us possess," he explained.

The management of neglected elderly people is one of the main tasks and functions of the Social Affairs Ministry. Each neglected elderly receives a social benefit of 300,000 Indonesian rupiah each month, so the problem can be managed better.

There is also care given to the elderly inside and outside the nursing home - through home care, where the elderly receive care at their residence of their families.
(AH) (INE)

Editor: Ella Syafputri
Copyright © ANTARA 2012