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Gatchalian: Give home to abandoned, neglected elderly

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Senator Sherwin Gatchalian wants to institutionalize the establishment of nursing homes for neglected and abandoned elderly in every city and municipality.

Inspired by Valenzuela City’s Bahay Kalinga, he filed Senate Bill No. 737 or the “Homes for the Abandoned Seniors Act of 2019,” which seeks to establish a nursing home for homeless senior citizens.

A nursing home provides living accommodations, food and clothing, medical and health care, and recreational and social interaction activities for abandoned or homeless senior citizens.

The senator from Valenzuela made this his personal advocacy, emphasizing that respect and care for the elderly has been one of the best traits of Filipinos.

“Unlike western societies, Filipinos choose to take care of their elders themselves in their homes as a sign of gratitude and respect,” Gatchalian said.

He had advocated for the establishment of a shelter for abandoned elders when was still member of the House of Representatives representing during the 16th Congress.

In 2012, Valenzuela established a nursing home dubbed as “Bahay Kalinga” or House of Care. There are currently 25 homeless or abandoned senior citizens receiving housing and healthcare at Bahay Kalinga.

The home serves as a halfway house for the elderly as well as abandoned, neglected and unwanted children while the local government helps them in contacting their existing relatives, Gatchalian said.

However, he noted that cases of abandonment and neglect of the elderly in the country are increasing because of the ageing population.

Gatchalian believes that the passage of this bill will decrease the growing number of unattended, neglected, abandoned and homeless senior citizens in the country as it will provide similar services provided by the Bahay Kalinga.

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