Great care for the elderly

Vietnam is a country with a rapid aging population, as the number of elderly has increased, with nearly 11.5 million accounting for 12% of the population. However, elderly citizens are still a very important resource for the country's socio-economic development, security and defense.

The elderly citizens are still a very important resource for the country's development. (Photo: NDO)
The elderly citizens are still a very important resource for the country's development. (Photo: NDO)

The country now has over 6.5 million older people who are directly involved in production. This is including nearly 100,000 owning production facilities or businesses and nearly 400,000 elderly members winning titles for good business. Meanwhile, more than 90,000 older people continue to contribute their experience to the development of enterprises and farms. In addition, over 1.1 million people are participating in social activities at grassroots levels, such as Party committee secretaries, village heads, heads of front committees and residential areas. Recently, amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, retired artisans, cultural experts, intellectuals, teachers and doctors have made several meaningful activities, significantly contributing to the society and community, especially joining frontline forces against COVID-19.

However, in addition to the joys, there are many concerns as elderly people do not have adequate savings and receive lower incomes. The proportion of the elderly living in poor households is higher than the national average. A part of them have to depend on their children; meanwhile, many others are single, lonely and helpless. They need the support from the community and society. According to data from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, up to 60 percent of the elderly aged from 60 to 69 are still working. Despite reaching the end of their working age, many people still have the need to find jobs in order to earn extra incomes and share the burden with their children and society. The promotion of livelihoods and entrepreneurship for the elderly, especially when Vietnam encounters an aging population and faces the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been set as an urgent task, that ensures their right to work and contribute to society, while taking advantage of the experience and brainpower of this special workforce for the country's social security goals.

In order to help older people to find jobs, in accordance with their needs, the relevant agencies should review the policies and laws for both employers and employees. To take advantage of this labour force, it is crucial to enhance the connection between employers and employees. Therefore, the appropriate policies are needed to assess and understand the demand of workers, promote labour market information to the elderly, develop job exchanges, establish a job placement centre for this special group and support businesses accepting the elderly workers.

The State should make policies to support enterprises using older people, such as a reduction of tax and contribution costs from the elderly and an application of new technology to help elderly workers, towards encouraging the businesses to take advantage of the wisdom and assets of the elderly. In addition, it is essential to strengthen the communications to raise public awareness of jobs for the elderly; review and study social security for this group and supporting policies; and perfect related laws.

Translated by NDO