Macao’s senior citizens stuck on the bread line
Family members urged to take better care of parents and grandparents, as most do not have any money of their own, and worry about how to afford medical treatment.
Almost all Macao’s senior citizens depend on the government for cash.
After surveying 391 over-60s last October the Sheng Kung Hui Macau Social Services Centre has revealed that more than 95 per cent of senior citizens’ main source of income comes from the government.
According to the findings, within that 95 per cent about 40 per cent have zero income without government support. The survey also showed that 40.7 per cent of seniors do not have enough savings to cope with emergencies.
In terms of medical treatment, 68.8 per cent of the seniors don’t save for medical fees and 47.1 per cent are worried that they wouldn’t be able to afford their treatment in the future.
Many senior citizens do not seek free treatment and medicine at government healthcare facilities but the survey did not reveal why.
The survey also showed that senior citizens are aware that medical fees are getting more expensive. However, the findings also showed that over 90 per cent of the senior citizens are satisfied with the government’s medical benefits.
In physical and psychological terms, 56 per cent said they were in good health. According to the so-called FRAIL assessment – Fatigue, Resistance, Ambulation, Illnesses, and Loss of Weight – 34.5 per cent of the respondents said they have at least three, while 69.6 per cent said they need to take medicine for their health conditions.
The survey also found out that 39.1 per cent of the senior citizens said that their health conditions are causing“emotional reactions,” The Macau Post Daily has reported.
The service director of the centre, Lee Kwok Hoo, encouraged youths to communicate more with their parents and grandparents. He pointed out that many senior citizens long for more company to overcome their loneliness and that families should start saving for their future needs.