Dubai: Families and caregivers of senior citizens in the UAE have been reminded of their duties towards elderly Emiratis, with the UAE Public Prosecution raising awareness through its social media channels, on Article 14 of the Federal Law No. 9 of 2019, concerning the rights of senior citizens.
As per the social media post, Article 14 of the law provides details on the responsibilities of families of senior citizens, with the following obligations listed:
1. To take care of the senior citizen, particularly a senior citizen who is unable to take care of himself.
2. To provide the necessary expense to cover his needs.
3. To cooperate with the organisations of senior citizens.
4. To take care the necessary measures to protect him from violence or abuse, and to provide conditions for general safety in the house in which he resides.
5. To inform the Ministry, the competent entity, or the nearest police station immediately following the death of a senior citizen or the absence of a person who is unable to take care of himself from the house.
6. To inform the Ministry or the competent entity in case of a change of residence of a senior citizen who is unable to take care of himself.
The same law also stipulates the penalties for violence and abuse of senior citizens.
Article 23 of the law states: “He shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine of no less than Dh10,000 and not more than Dh50,000, or either of these two penalties, whoever provides a service to senior citizens who are unable to take care of himself, or his caretaker, who has committed violence or abuse against him.”
Who is considered a senior citizen?
Emiratis who are 60 years of age or over are considered senior citizens. According to the official UAE government website – u.ae – under the National Policy for Senior Emiratis, UAE elderly will be referred to as ‘Senior Emiratis’ in recognition of their experience, giving, dedication and sincerity to UAE.
Rights guaranteed by law
Federal Law No. 9 of 2019 on the Rights of Senior Emiratis also guarantees the following rights for Senior Emiratis:
• the right to independence and privacy
• the right to protection from violence and abuse
• the right to an enabling environment, housing, education and work
• the right to social care including the provision of elderly community centres and social clubs
• the right to medical care including preventive health services, medical insurance, mobile nursing units and supportive medical devices
• the right of confidentiality of information pertaining to them
• the right to preferential treatment with respect to government transactions, facilities, social aid and medical services.
The law provides punishments which include jail, fines or both to elderly care providers who abuse or neglect their duties towards Senior Emiratis and to elderly care institutions that violate the provisions of the law.