63,141 senior citizens participated in digital capacity building programs during the past year, according to the latest statistics issued by the Ministry of Community Development, in an effort to acquire technological awareness and digital knowledge necessary to keep pace with the modern lifestyle, and restore their energies and capabilities.
The digital capacity building program for senior citizens is concerned with training them to use modern technology to facilitate their lives, by possessing the skills to use smart applications and electronic devices, in cooperation with the Digital Quality of Life Council as a primary partner, in addition to various partnerships from relevant authorities.
The program aims to create a societal segment that enjoys technological awareness and digital knowledge necessary to keep pace with the modern lifestyle, enhance the environment that supports the active life of senior citizens, and form innovative channels for transferring knowledge and expertise, and improving and automating the quality of services for senior citizens.
The application of the program comes within the implementation of the objectives of the national policy for senior citizens, which stipulate the necessity to improve their quality of life, ensure their active and continuous participation within the community fabric, enhance their capacity for community communication, practice an active life, invest their energies, and ensure their participation in programs and civic participation.
The Ministry of Community Development launched a guide for the digital services it provides to senior citizens. It also launched an introductory video on digital services and smart applications, and how senior citizens can benefit from them.
The Ministry’s customer happiness centers in the various emirates and regions of the country have organized a number of programs and events during the past two years, including a workshop on “Digital applications and their importance in the lives of senior citizens”, an awareness workshop on the Ministry’s applications and services, and an awareness workshop on “the impact of social media on Senior citizens from a social and psychological point of view during the (Covid-19) pandemic,” a virtual workshop on “the importance of digital integration for senior citizens,” virtual trips, entertainment events, and virtual reality therapy sessions.
It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Community Development offers a range of exclusive services to senior citizens, through the “Masara” card, which includes a set of services and privileges, granted automatically and without request to every citizen over 60 years old through the direct electronic link of the card with the Emirates ID card.
Senior citizens benefit from the services of the “Masara” card, which provides them with a set of privileges, without the need to submit any requests, once they reach the age of 60.
Issuing the card required taking four traditional procedures, including submitting an application and copies of identification documents, until the Ministry of Community Development, in cooperation with the concerned authorities, canceled these steps, so that the senior citizens could benefit from the card by simply presenting the identity card.
“Masara” provides privileges, a range of services, and discounts at various outlets in the country, such as hotels, private clinics, home care centers, and travel and tourism companies, in addition to the privileges of obtaining government services easily and conveniently, as part of the implementation of sustainable plans to facilitate senior citizens.
• «Community Development» trains them in the skills of using applications and smart devices.
• 16 thousand beneficiaries of the national policy initiatives to empower senior citizens during the past year.
“We are your family” initiative
The number of senior citizens who benefited from the “We are your family” phone initiative, which was launched by the ministry during the past year, reached 18,115 people. Novel Coronavirus Pandemic (Covid 19).
Physical and psychological stability
The Ministry of Community Development works to implement programs concerned with building the mental, physical and psychological capacities of senior citizens, to ensure their psychological and financial stability.
The Ministry encourages senior citizens to practice sports, to maintain their physical and psychological safety, whether by providing day clubs for senior citizens, which include all the required sports facilities and equipment, or by providing these devices for them free of charge in their homes, to encourage them to continue to exercise.
The Ministry’s statistical reports showed that during the past year, 115 sports equipment were distributed to senior citizens in their homes in all emirates of the country, with the aim of enhancing the environment that supports the active life of adults in the community.