The government has allocated about RM17 million for the establishment of additional Pusat Aktiviti Warga Emas (PAWE) or senior citizens activity centres from 2018 to 2023, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said.
She said the allocation was in line with the government's efforts in setting up such centres in each parliamentary constituency which would be in collaboration with non-governmental organisations.
"The allocation includes RM5 million received by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry this year to set up at least 45 PAWEs bringing the total number of centres to 133, by the end of this year. The centres make up 60 percent of the target allocated for parliamentary constituencies.
"The ministry wants to make sure that the setting up PAWEs will take into account the needs of senior citizens in the community and suitable premises that are easily accessible either in residential areas or at any location that meets the criteria," she said.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, was responding to Senator Aknan Ehtook who wanted to know the number of seniors in each PAWE from 2014 to 2018, during question time at the Dewan Negara today.
She also said the programme received positive feedback from senior citizens which saw an increase in number of registrations each year which stood at 27,059 in 2014 and 38,627 in 2018.
"Based on the PAWE Outcome Valuation Report 2016 conducted by the Social Welfare Department involving 702 senior citizens from 45 centres, 97.4 percent of seniors were satisfied with its activities.
"Seniors can participate and carry out activities which are suitable to their needs such as health checks, training, sports and exercise therapies and religious activities that contribute and improve their quality of life," she said.
Wan Azizah said 97.4 percent of them also felt that activities at such centres eliminated their sense of loneliness and reduced depression, while 96.5 percent were happy and 95.9 percent felt that PAWE had increased their potential and talent.