PETALING JAYA: An academic has proposed a government-sponsored employment scheme for senior citizens to eradicate poverty among older people.
Zumilah Zainalaludin of Universiti Putra Malaysia suggested that these jobs be tailored to a senior citizen’s fitness level and their health condition.
“Maybe they can work for four to five hours and be paid accordingly. And the jobs offered should not come at the expense of the youth,” she said in a current affairs programme on Astro Awani.
Zumilah said the jobs scheme was needed as many senior citizens had to get by with very little savings.
There was a need to nurture the entrepreneurial skills of older people as they would still have financial commitments after they retired.
Employment would also help the elderly deal with loneliness. “This is something that needs to be considered as they are inclined towards suffering mental health issues post-retirement,” she added, citing dementia as an example.
Seniors with dementia pose greater difficulty for society than other active seniors, she said.
“The elderly need to be actively involved in society, to work, to move. This should be encouraged so that they continue to have good mental health, thus helping society,” she said.