Social Welfare Services and the Needs of the Arab Elderly
This chapter focuses on social welfare services in the Arab sector. The principal ministry providing social welfare services for the elderly is the Ministry of Labor and Welfare. The housing conditions of the Arab elderly as reflected in the various studies are subject to grave multiple deficiencies. The source of economic assistance for the elderly, when their old-age pensions are insufficient for their needs, is usually their children. The social problems of the elderly are problems characteristic of the aging process, but they take on different forms as well as different magnitudes in different societies. The distress endured by the Arab elderly is testimony to the relative failure of the traditional social frameworks to cope with the needs of the older people in the population. The population of the Arab elderly suffers from three principal kinds of problems: economic difficulties, health problems, and the problems of social relationships.