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Minister of Social Affairs Orders Training of Elderly Care Agents, More Local Associations

PHNOM PENH: Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, Chea Somethy, spoke on the occasion of the Cambodian Day for Older Persons 2023 on October 2, the minister made a number of recommendations, such as organizing an annual celebration for the event and expanding the Association of the Elderly to more communes across the country. He also ordered the National Center for Elderly Support to launch a program to train elderly care providers to increase their quality of care.

The minister said that his ministry has established 1,646 elderly associations in communes (Sangkats) throughout the country to alleviate difficulties and provide a network of associations that can assist each other. He said that this is a new achievement for the ministry, that seeks to implement social policies that increase public services to help vulnerable groups in society.

He also instructed his ministry's specialized units to encourage national and international NGOs, like the Cambodian Organization for the Elderly and the United Nations Development Program, to implement more projects aimed at promoting the well-being and activities of the elderly. He encouraged communities to increase the number of professional care centers for the unhoused elderly population, and ordered the National Center for Elderly Support to provide training services for elderly care providers.

The minister called on all parties to pay attention to the welfare of the elderly by turning the National Policy on the Elderly 2017-2020 and other legal documents related to the elderly into effective practice.

He finished by thanking the national and international NGOs, private sector development partners, and compatriots across the country who have actively contributed to meeting the needs of the elderly thereby promoting their well-being.

Director-General of the ministry’s Department of Social Services, Din Borey, also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the challenges the elderly face, in addition to what he says are benefits for Cambodia’s aging population.

“As the elderly population grows, so do their challenges related to financial security, health care, long-term care, lifestyle, migration, intergenerational relationships, and support from young people,” he said. “But the elderly people of Cambodia are luckier than the elderly people in other countries because in Cambodia, people have the tradition of living together as a family system where many generations live together and living as a family system is a traditional safety net that can help the elderly avoid any problems that may occur to them.”

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