Mayor Vows to Improve Senior Welfare
Mayor Ko Wen-je pledged to create a society allowing the elderly to live a healthy and meaningful life in a press event promoting the City’s senior welfare policies on September 5.Citing statistics, Ko pointed out that Taiwan is a rapidly aging society. The number of Taipei residents ages 65 and older is projected to reach 520,000 in five years, accounting for one fifth of the City’s total population. Currently the number of the 65-and-older age group stands at 420,000.In light of this, the city government has been endeavoring to improve Taipei’s elderly care system, seeking to provide seniors with a healthy and happy life. A slew of policies will be rolled out to achieve the aim, the first being the “senior dining program.” The mayor reckoned that the City has established 325 spots across the twelve districts for the program.The purpose for seniors to congregate in a place to dine with each other isn’t so much about eating together, but rather about encouraging them to engage in group activities and thus helping enhance their well-being both mentally and physically. In addition, Department of Information Technology is working on designing a vehicle that will be touring the senior dining spots, teaching the elderly how to use digital gadgets from the information age – for example the mobile phones, tablets, among other IT products. Taipei City Hospital also plans to launch the “mobile clinic van,” which will provide the elderly with cancer screening and vaccination services by visiting the places where senior residents gather. What’s more, the mayor announced that the City will issue a seniority card with a given number of points, with which the holders will be able to take public bus, MRT, taxi, Maokong Gondola, YouBike, and other facilities.