The new Law to Protect the Rights of the Elderly, approved by the Council of Ministers on Jan. 4, guarantees several privileges and discounts for the Saudi citizens aged 60 years and above. There are several provisions in the law that aimed at protecting the rights of the elderly people and ensuring their care and welfare.
There are provisions in the law to protect the physical and psychological rights of the elderly people. The law dictates that elderly people have the right to live with their families, who in turn must respond to their needs in dignity. It is not permitted to send an elderly man or woman to a shelter or care facility without their consent.
- The law emphasizes that social care homes may not accommodate an elderly person except after his approval, or after a court ruling has been issued to that effect, or in situations wherein there are threats to his life or safety.
- An elderly person is considered needy if he is unable to meet his necessities in whole or in part, as a result of deficiencies in his financial, physical, psychological or mental capabilities. In the event that the family is unable to support the elderly person, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development shall provide him with the necessary medical supplies free of charge.
- The elderly are given priority in obtaining basic services provided by government agencies, or those who provide them on their behalf. The Ministry of Resources and Human Development would issue him a privilege card so that he can benefit from the public services he needs for the necessities of his daily life, and government agencies give him discounts on the public services they provide.
- The Ministry of Human Resources has the right to provide self-guardianship for the elderly or those who are incompetent or those who are judicially proven to have no guardian.
- The new law prohibits the breadwinner from disposing of the elderly’s money without his consent, or deliberately violating his rights and care, or misusing his money.