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Senior Citizens are our Cultural and Knowledge Repository and Can Benifit Society - Princess Basma
15 January, 2014

The Jordan Times
By Laila Azzeh

AMMAN- An initiative to transform the lives of the elderly was launched on Wednesday, taking into account the need to safeguard the physical and mental well-being of this segment of society.

Under the Senior citizens without limits initiative, implemented by Darat Samir Shamma for the Elderly, old people will have the chance to utilise their free time, which is considered one of the main causes of depression among them.

They will be given the opportunity to serve the local community as volunteers in ministries, public agencies, schools and universities according to their respective specialisations.

The initiative also aims at providing nursing homecare services for elderly people and implementing programmes that prepare workers for retirement age, said Ehab Mashaal, founder of the initiative and director of the society.

HRH Princess Basma, who attended the launch, underscored the significance of the programme, which reflects the belief in humans ability to give regardless of their age.

She noted that senior citizens are our cultural and knowledge repository whose experience can enrich the education, agriculture, industry, management and social work areas.

I address you today as a grandmother and with more awareness of this important and responsible role for me the new generations live in a world controlled by speed and tough competitiveness, a matter that requires inoculating them with wisdom, patience and prudence, Princess Basma said.

Bassam Hijawi, director of the Health Ministry′s primary healthcare department, said the elderly have been included in civil health insurance and the ministry will task hospitals and healthcare centres with facilitating procedures for them.

During the ceremony, the Princess listened to testimonies from residents of the home for the elderly and their interaction with different activities and programmes implemented by the facility.

Established in 2011 by a donation from the late Samir Shamma, the nonprofit society offers several programmes for senior citizens to improve their integration into society, such as courses to enhance their memory, nutrition and mental health.