Turkish family ministry to launch daycare units for elderly, disabled
Meltem Özgenç - ANKARA
CİHAN PhotoFamily and Social Policies Minister Ayşenur İslam said daycares for elderly and disabled people would be established in order to make lives easier for families who look after them.
Speaking at an event in Ankara to promote the family, İslam said, “We are launching a new program … in the forthcoming days. We are establishing institutions where our elderly and disabled people can stay during the day when their families are busy,” said İslam May 18 at the event, titled “I am peaceful with my family: Meeting of 81 provinces and 81 families.”
“We believe this will help the families who want to live together with their elderly and disabled family members but work all day long,” she said.
Commenting on the child connotation of the word “daycare,” İslam said they were calling these new venues daycares but it was just a description rather than a reference to children.
İslam gave details about how the daycares would function, stating that families could drop their elderly or disabled family members off in the mornings and pick them up in the evening.
“This way, we will allow our elderly and disabled people to stay with their families,” said İslam, adding that their main aim was to keep these people with their families, as it was where they were the most happy.
İslam said the ministry was providing support for 460,000 disabled and elderly people and 80,000 children to stay with their families. “We are designating our social policies accordingly,” İslam said.
She added that if they could not make children stay with their families, they tried to place the children together with foster families, so that the children could grow inside a family. If this did not work, the family ministry looked after the children at their care facilities, where the ministry tried to make the children feel at home.
“We have also tried such models for the disabled and elderly people, too. We take these people, who do not need rehabilitation or special care, to elderly wellness centers - in line with their will - to ordinary apartments where they can live together,” İslam said.
İslam also denied claims that the ministry was going to cut the tangible rights they were granting to 1 million people.
“We will do no such thing. We will not take anyone’s rights from their hands,” she said.
In 2014, the number of elderly and people with disabilities who received aid was 1.2 million, while the number who has a social card is 1.7 million, according to the data announced by İslam on Nov. 7, 2014, during discussions of the ministry’s budget.
In 2013, Turkey spent 21.3 billion Turkish Liras on social aid, while in 2014, this amount increased to more than 26.5 billion liras, said İslam.