Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has refiled a bill that seeks to establish in every city and municipality a nursing home that shall serve abandoned and homeless senior citizens.
Under Senate Bill No. 950 or the “Homes for Abandoned Seniors Act of 2022,” these nursing homes will be operated and maintained by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in coordination with local government units (LGUs) concerned.
The LGUs, however, will be tasked to build these nursing homes, the bill added.
Gatchalian’s measure takes inspiration from Valenzuela City’s “Bahay Kalinga” and “Bahay Kanlungan Tahanan Nila Lolo at Lola,” both of which provided home-like environments for senior citizens.
Bahay Kalinga, which was established in 2012, is a two-story half-way home of 25 homeless or abandoned senior citizens. The four-story “Bahay Kanlungan,” which can accommodate up to 90 elderly residents, was opened in 2021. Bahay Kanlungan has its own clinic, physical therapists, psychologists, nutritionists and house parents who watch over the senior citizens 24/7.
While Valenzuela City was able to come up with solutions to cater to the needs of abandoned and homeless elders, Gatchalian said the number of unattended, neglected and homeless seniors nationwide cannot be ignored.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that our grandparents have decent homes and get proper care. To make it happen, we will push the construction of nursing homes for our senior citizens in every city and municipality,” Gatchalian said in a statement on Sunday.
Under Gatchalian’s proposal, nursing homes for the homeless and abandoned elderly shall provide comfortable living quarters, adequate food and clothing, medical consultation or treatment, health care and counseling, among others.
Gatchalian was the primary author of this measure when he filed this during the 17th and 18th Congresses.