The status of elders with and without disabilities and their services in United Arab Emirates
International Journal of Integrated Care, 22 June 2009 - ISSN 1568-4156
Conference abstract
The status of elders with and without disabilities and their services in United Arab Emirates
Abdelaziz A. Sartawi, Chairman and Professor, Special Education Department, United Arab Emirates University (UAE University), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Correspondence to: Abdelaziz Sartawi, E-mail:

Introduction: In the light of developing the level of health care services in the world, taking care of elderly people in general has taken great deal of emphasis since the second half of 20th century.

Context: Due to surplus of oil revenues, GCC countries have witnessed during the last four decades a rapid economic, social and cultural transformational movement which produced comprehensive and developmental programs in all aspects. It is quite notable that the economic growth in GCC countries was parallel with health, social, educational and cultural growth reflected in the concepts dealing with most needy groups of society such as children, handicapped and elders. Small and the large family in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) society have always been the safe haven to all its members from children to elderly stage. Since the UAE society pays a special tribute to elderly people being the men of yesterday and wise men of today, the elderly people have occupied a special place in social services policies implemented by UAE government since its establishment in 1971.

Aims: The purpose of this paper is to overview the current services of elderly people especially those with handicapping conditions in UAE society. Analysis of social, economical and cultural background is taken into consideration when providing appropriate suggestions and recommendations to enhance and promote elderly programs.

elderly population; disabilities; health care services; United Arab Emirates

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