Dubai: The Minister of Social Affairs has denounced the mistreatment committed by a helper recently to an elderly man in Dibba Al Fujairah.
Mariam Al Roumi, Minister of Social Affairs, said that the ministry is currently working on a draft law to protect the rights of the elderly, which will aim to protect and bolster their rights, and ensure they enjoy equality.
A domestic worker was arrested by Dibba Al Fujairah Police for abusing his elderly sponsor. The Asian helper was spotted on surveillance video slapping and beating the 80-year-old Emirati with a wooden stick. The man’s son suspected his father was being abused and set up a camera to monitor the helper, who has been identified as M.S.A. The helper confessed to police. He claimed the elderly man had been annoying him and he wanted him to be quiet.
Mariam said that Fawzia Al Taresh, Director of the Family Development Department at the ministry, has issued directives to visit the home of the elderly man and inquire about his needs.
In a statement issued by the ministry on Wednesday, Mariam said that mistreating the elderly goes against traditional Arab values and Sharia, which stress that the elderly must be treated in the best way possible, and live with their family and receive all forms of care and love.
“I call on all families who have an elderly family member to make sure they provide them with all forms of care, and to make sure that they occupy the status that they deserve within the family,” said Mariam.
“Children will never be able to repay the debt of the elderly, who have spent their entire life working hard to raise their children. It is the children’s duty to start repaying that debt once their parents are older,” said Mariam.
She added that assigning a helper to take care of the elderly does not comply with our culture or values. She said that not fully monitoring the helper to ensure that they are taking good care of the elderly drives them to treat the elderly violently and aggressively. Mariam said that this occurs due to lack of care from the family.
She stressed that the UAE society rejects this inhumane and degrading treatment.
Mariam said that the UAE gives special attention to the elderly, and is keen on providing them with a decent life and protecting their rights. The new law will ensure the elderly’s right for independence, protecting them from harm, mistreatment or negligence, their right to social security and health care, and remaining in their homes with their families.