Hanoi steps up efforts to improve life of the elderly

Hanoi is taking in a wide range of steps to better the lives of the elderly, who account for a growing proportion of its population.

Elderly people make up 10.5% of Hanoi’s population. There are 728,000 people aged 60 and above. Of these, 1,270 are over 100 and 31,000 are living in poverty or near poverty. 

The city has issued health insurance cards for 64.8% of the elderly living in poverty and those who are disadvantaged or suffering from leprosy. 

Hospitals and health centres in districts and communes co-ordinated with local associations of the elderly periodically examine and make health records for the elderly. 

This helped medical professionals diagnose people with diseases early and provide proper treatment. 

The city has also worked to improve older people’s mental and emotional wellbeing. It organised 85 models for taking care of the elderly in the community. 

Phuc Xa ward in Ba Dinh district, for example, implemented a model called Taking Care of the Health of the Elderly in the Community from 2013 to 2015. It was designed to help older people gain access to proper health services, get advice on taking care of themselves and prevent diseases. 

For the programme to be implemented effectively, the ward often held training classes for employees on policies and laws relating to the elderly. 

Phuc Xa ward’s staff, organisations and unions frequently visited the elderly and organised many activities, such as marking the International Day for the Elderly or bringing in exemplary old people to society. 

This year, Ba Dinh district will organise many activities to improve care of the elderly. 

Cu Thi Hau, Vice President of the Vietnam Association of the Elderly, said Hanoi was one of localities that had done well to care for and ensure the rights of the elderly. 

Hanoi has the highest allowances for the elderly: VND350,000 per month (US$16) per person, said Hau. 

The Hanoi Association of the Elderly has also made positive contributions, calling on people to build a civilised city, protect the environment, build new rural areas, and ensure security and social reconciliation.