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Premier vows to address graying population issues


Premier William Lai has pledged to cope with the issues arising from the country’s graying population. Lai was speaking Friday at an event featuring the launch of a new long-term care hotline.


Lai said Taiwan has become an aging society because seniors aged 65 or over make up 14% of the total population.


The premier said the 10-year, long-term care program introduced by the government this year is an improvement on an earlier model. The program offers subsidies and new community-based services. A new hotline set up on Friday is intended to make arranging home visits easier.


Lai said caregivers must have patience and love because the people they care for may have a range of physical and mental health conditions. Lai said they should consider their work an act of charity to the nation. He said, "[Caregivers] might say that a paycheck of about NT$30,000 is not good enough, and that the working conditions are already beyond the threshold they can cope with. And they have difficulty in offering tender loving care. I want to encourage caregivers who are in the front line that they should treat their work as a charitable act for Taiwan’s society."