People who mistreat or neglect UAE senior citizens face prison time and heavy fines, the authorities said.
Public prosecutors reminded people of the UAE’s Senior Citizens law which preserves the rights of older Emiratis.
Offenders, whether they are family members or elderly care institutions, can expect jail sentences of up to two years and fines of Dh10,000 to Dh50,000.
According to Federal Law No 9 of 2019, Emiratis who are 60 years of age or over are entitled to the following:
- 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.
- full medical, financial and educational care and must be registered in a dedicated database.
The law also punishes anyone who witnesses abuse but does not report it.
Caregivers who insult senior citizens can face stiff penalties.
Should a family face difficulties in providing care for elderly people, they are required to inform the Ministry of Community Development, care centres, the police and any other relevant departments.
The same requirement is necessary should a senior citizen die or change their home address.
The UAE has retirement homes for Emirati senior citizens called elderly care centres which fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Community Development.
The centres provide primary health care, social, psychological and physical therapy for seniors.
Families looking to register an elderly relative to enter a care home can do so online.