State Social Welfare, Women Development, Family and Welfare committee chairman Wong May Ing (center) said the state had the highest number of older people. Pic by NSTP/ABDULLAH YUSOF

IPOH: The state Welfare Department needs more volunteers to cater to the needs of the increasing number of senior citizens.

State Social Welfare, Women Development, Family and Welfare committee chairman Wong May Ing said the state had the highest number of older people.

She said, according to the Statistics Department, Perak would become an “aged” state next year.

“Ipoh, the third largest city in Malaysia with a population of over 740,000 has the reputation for having the most elderly population of 65 years and above of more than 45,000.

“A majority of the state’s older people reside in Kinta district, followed by Larut Matang and Hilir Perak,” she said after launching the My Precious Memory programme to celebrate senior citizens who are suffering from dementia at a dementia day care centre here today.

Dementia is a neurodegenerative disease of the brain, common among the elderly.

It causes impaired intellectual functioning, interferes with the normal activities of daily living and reduces an individual’s capacity for independent living.

“I have to admit that the number of volunteers who registered with the state Welfare Department is not encouraging,” she said.

“It is definitely not enough to help those people who are in need.

“The state government will discuss this matter with the department and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to increase the number of volunteers.”

On a related matter, Wong said a Senior Citizen Activity Centre at the Urban Transformation Centre here would be relocated owing to complaints about noise and the lack of space for activities.

Source: New Straits Times