Sunday, January 4, 2015

Senior citizens abandoned in Kuwait Hospitals

KUWAIT: A high-ranking health ministry official blew the whistle on a very tragic issue, declaring that Kuwaiti public hospitals were full of hundreds of senior citizens who had finished receiving medical care and needed to go back home where family bonds would help cure them and relieve their pain. “Unfortunately, those senior citizens’ relatives have been refusing to take them home,” he revealed.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that the scores of patients aged 60 to 90 had already received the medical treatment they needed and had to be discharged. “Nonetheless, those patients’ ungrateful children or relatives who had not been so visiting them left them in hospital for months,” added the official, noting that many of the patients’ children and relatives had been notified of the need to discharge the patients.

“Some of them promised to take them home, while others got angry for being told so and blamed the hospitals for what they described as ‘interfering in personal affairs’ and immediately started criticizing the medical body for not ‘shouldering its responsibilities towards citizens’,” explained the official.

Moreover, the official explained that most of the senior citizens suffered from chronic diseases that could be dealt with at home, but instead were receiving such care by nurses in private rooms that are badly needed for more critical cases. “We cannot force a citizen out of a private hospital room, but where will they go as long as their relatives refuse taking them?” the official exclaimed.

In addition, the official stressed that these patients’ relatives had been repeatedly reminded that senior citizens get enough social security pensions, including KD 559 to all women over fifty, granting widows their late husbands’ pensions, men’s pension, senior citizens’ care, house call doctors and medical care at home. He added that despite being threatened that such incentives might be stopped if their cases were reported, many of the relatives have not responded and still kept their ageing relatives in hospitals. – Al-Rai

I have to say this is extremely sad and disappointing to say the least. I worked in a nursing home before in the states for a couple weeks. I had an old lady who was 100 years old ask me to take her home and it made me cry. I quit working there because I couldn't handle the misery of the patients. I wonder where these patients are in Kuwait, I would love to visit them and keep them company. That could be a new community project for the younger generations, if the family won't visit then the youth could do it for them.

It's awful and sad to leave the older generation alone which will make them deteriorate and pass away sooner than being in a healthy environment, shame on you people!


  1. According to the Kuwait public school system, geriatric homes are acceptable in the West where people supposedly don't care about the elderly; whereas here, people with strong religion naturally keep their elderly parents at home with them.

    I doubt that it is a matter of greed in many cases here. There is just not adequate care for the elderly and you can't rely on a poorly-trained, low-paid care-givers to watch over geriatric patients with health issues.

  2. Uff! this was so hard to read and deeply saddening. I hate to see or hear these things. It just shows how inhuman people can be. What goes around comes around is the first thought that comes to me.

    Our government is very supportive of the elderly. They provide so many subsidies and Doctor home visits and such, as stated. If the hospitals have declared the elderly is fit to go back home, then in most cases they are. It's lack of responsibility and not wanting the additional burden of an elderly at home that's rotting our society. Young people too caught in the materialistics of the now, not to mention the additional nagging.

    I'm sure if any youth visit them it would be great, however, I do question if the elderly would find the required happiness. There's no substitute for a son or daughter, brother or sister.

    Nevertheless, someone is better than no one.

  3. It also saddens me to see the old men sitting in wheelchairs in the old part of Mubarakiya. It's like they sit in the old section to hold onto what's left of their youth. I would love to bring my friend who produces movies along with me to interview and film the old men and let them tell us their stories. I can only imagine what life was like back then, pearl diving, trading and all of the things we see in the few remaining black and white photos. They sit there in their wheelchairs all alone with a driver who checks on them occasionally. What kind of life is that? I would love to create a recreation center for them built in the old housing style and playing the bahar music for them. A section for the women with sadu weaving and old traditional furnishings. No one remembers that they will one day find themselves in the same position and as you've said the kids of today won't be bothered taking care of some old people.

    These days are filled with nannies taking care of the kids not the parents so who will look after them when they grow old? If the children are not loved do they think their kids will be so happy to take care of them? I doubt it. Once they grow old and unstable the kids will begin to fight over the property of their parents which will end up badly. I would hate to be in their positions.

    We will all end up old and crippled...who will take care of you then?

  4. Hi , i rarely write or comment on any blog but your article today makes feel so sad and badly! i'm a Jordanian guy who was born and live almost whole of my life here which i called my precious country (Kuwait), i wish that we can make a campaign or anything that can help those angels, i don't mind at all to keep a part of my day after work to visit and take care some of them..can you pleaseeeeee tell me where are they? which hospitals? only hospitals or other places?


  5. True that. However, this is not a Kuwait centric problem. Will have you know that the working young the world over have increasingly less time or interest in non productive seniors. A practical counter punch to this I would imagine would be to have gated residential communities for seniors driven by seniors so that it does not have the look and feel of an old age home.


Comments are welcome! Personal attacks are not. Thanks!