Legislative Yuan Releases Third Amendment Draft of Provisions of the "Senior Citizens Welfare Act"

The tenth meeting of the eighth session of the Legislative Yuan today (11/20) passed the draft of the revisions to articles of the Senior Citizens Welfare Act. The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) expressed its thanks to legislators and people from all sectors for their long-term interest and support on the issue of elderly welfare services, and the MOHW also thanked legislators for their many valuable comments during the review process. 

These changes were made in reference to the provisions regarding conditions for applying for living and special care subsidies for elderly people with mid to low-incomes in the People with Disabilities Rights Protection Act. The changes to the law stipulate that the competent authority of the domiciles of elderly people with mid to low-incomes shall abolish the time limit on household registration for these elderly people. The changes also stipulate that the relevant agencies have the obligation to assist these elderly people in providing them with the necessary information in assessments of household registration. At the same time, the changes also specified that the cash payments, grants, etc. that elderly people receive shall not be subject to seizure, be assigned to another person, or be used as a guarantee. This helps prevent elderly people from facing the helplessness and economic pressure caused by the debts of their family members and relatives. Other feedback addressed other issues that elderly people face, such as discrimination in housing and employment, driving, and home fire safety requirements. As such, additional housing, labor, transportation, and fire safety goals objectives were set with the responsible competent authorities.

The MOHW stated that in order to improve the situation of elderly people being unable to rent housing or owning a house but is forced to lead to a life of poverty because of lack of income, these revisions in the law will add new housing authorities to direct the social housing of elderly and assist the elderly in purchasing and renting housing. In addition, local competent authorities will prepare plans that reward house owners that provide more opportunities for the elderly to rent housing. In addition, the revisions also increases the authority and responsibilities of financial competent authorities, encourages trust and financial companies to handle property trusts, and provide businesses with real estate reverse mortgage (RM) services. Local authorities will also encourage elderly people to deliver their properties to a trust. It is expected that the cooperation of relevant government bureaus and local governments will make it possible to reach the objective of protecting elderly people's property. 

The MOHW went on to state that with the advent of an aging society, both the government and civil sectors must address the needs of senior citizens by providing a full range of care services. This is done through a holistic care approach that improves care for the disadvantaged in order to promote social participation and improve quality of life. These amendments to the law follow along with changes in society, which now demands the safeguarding of the interests and rights of the elderly. The MOHW expects the amendments to this act to be passed, after which relevant government departments shall implement the relevant provisions of the law, thus creating a friendly social environment for the elderly.