13 Nov 2013

Tonga NGO points to needs of struggling elderly

11:19 am on 13 November 2013

A family group supporting the elderly in Tonga says there is a growing number of senior citizens who are struggling to take care of themselves and are seeking help.

The non-government organisation, Ma'a Fafine Moe Famili Centre, runs the Tonga Social Services Pilot which was launched in July last year, and provides home care visits to people over 60 who suffer from non-communicable disease or issues with mobility.

A case manager, Melenaita Blake, says many clients have been neglected by family members who are either busy with their own families or have moved overseas.

"Right now we're having 164 clients with different conditions. And more and more referrals are being received. I consider it quite a lot because us kids are supposed to look after our elderly. But right now we see that some of that is not being practised now."

Melenaita Blake says a number of clients struggle to clean their homes or have outdoor toilets and find it physically hard to get to them.