In Malaysia, more people are living longer with a higher life expectancy that is comparable to first-world nations. With the development of public health and economic growth, an older person aged 60 years old in 2015 is estimated to live for another 20+ years, taking into account their gender and ethnicity.
1 out of 12 Malaysians are an older person, and the numbers of older persons are likely to increase to 11% of the Malaysian population, at 3.3 million people by 2020. Between 2020 and 2046, Malaysia’s 65+ population will double from 7% to 14%. The World Bank’s “Malaysia Economic Monitor” report highlighted how important it was to look into ensuring Malaysians have enough income for their old age.
With these projections, it is high time we look into how to manage and plan ahead of time for the now and future of our loved ones. We hope that this all-in-one guide will be able to help Malaysians in defraying the high costs associated with caregiving and what is available out there for seniors and families alike.
Monetary Assistance for Seniors Citizens
a) Department of Social Welfare Under The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Department
The objective of this aid is for senior citizens to live and lead a normal life with care and get access to support from the local community via the government’s help. There is a financial aid of RM350 monthly for seniors called Bantuan Orang Tua (BOT), which has now been raised to RM500 as announced in the recent Budget 2021.
Family members or caregivers are also eligible for respite care, in the event they are not able to help care for their senior loved ones for a temporary duration. Seniors will be provided with accommodation, medication, therapy services, and social recreational activities. However, this has a minimum duration of 1 day and a maximum of 30 days.
No payment is needed for this and application can be made at the nearest District Social Welfare Office (PKMD) in each state or online at the Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat portal here.
Criteria for application:
- Open to individuals aged 60 years and above
- No source of monthly income
- Has no immediate family members or family members are unable to support these elderly due to financial difficulties
b) Senior Citizenship Appreciation Programme by the Penang State Government
This programme offers a cash aid of RM130 annually to registered seniors citizens in Penang. Family members of registered senior individuals will also be eligible for a one-off RM1,000 for funeral expenses.
Amongst the criteria for eligibility are applicants will have to be 60 years old and above and are registered voters in Penang. Find out more here.
c) Skim Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE)
Started in 2008, seniors in Selangor can apply for this annual RM100 cash aid for groceries. Applicants are able to apply on their website here or via the Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (YAWAS) Careline at 03-54818800.
Criteria for application:
- Open to senior citizens aged 60 and above and the disabled. (Subject to SMUE application eligibility requirements)
- Application is FREE and application forms are available at all DUN Service Center offices in the State of Selangor
- Registration is according to the residential address as stated in the Applicant Mykad ONLY. (Subject to address in Selangor State area only)
- Applicants born in the State of Selangor but residing outside the State of Selangor are NOT ELIGIBLE to be registered as a Member and receive any benefits under this scheme
Medical and Health Benefits
a) Prosthetics and Medical Devices
The objective of the aid is to assist Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) who are unable to purchase devices such as artificial legs and arms, calipers, crutches, wheelchair, hearing aids, special glasses, special shoes, and other devices or mobility aids that are recommended by the doctor or specialist. For more information, visit the JKM portal here.
b) Outpatient Fee Exemption
Malaysia’s public healthcare is known to be heavily subsidized and it’s no different for senior citizens in the nation. Senior citizens are given a full exemption for outpatient service and health charges, whilst inpatient charges are reduced by 50% with a maximum fee of RM250.
Business Support for Seniors
a) Launching Grant by the Department of Social Welfare
Interested to start a business and be an entrepreneur? Get started with this grant to launch your business, where individuals can get up to RM2,700.
b) Ex-Army Personnel Entrepreneur Financing Scheme
This financing scheme is also known as Skim Pembiayaan Usahawan Bekas Tentera (SPBT) is a loan programme made available to former military personnel as well as their wife and children who are interested to venture into business and entrepreneurship.
a) MyRapid Senior Citizen Concession Cards
Taking public transport is now more affordable for senior citizens as they are able to benefit from transportation discounts with MyRapid. Individuals aged 60 years old and above are eligible for a fare discount of 50% on the cash rate for every journey via RapidKL Bus, BRT, LRT, monorail, and MRT services.
Applicants can head to the station counters or apply online here.
Also known as the Komuter Link Warga Emas, seniors are able to enjoy concession card discounts for up to 10 years. Individuals will be able to get 50% off all KTM Komuter station destinations.
We hope that this compilation of information will help you in making the most informed decisions to plan ahead financially for your senior loved ones, as well as to enjoy the benefits that are offered in hopes that it will be able to better support caregivers in their caregiving journey.