The opening of the new unit comes in line with the UAE government’s vision, aimed at improving the quality of life of senior citizens and providing them with a decent and safe life, to bolster their integration into the UAE’s social life and enhance their capabilities, despite all psychological challenges.
The new treatment unit will serve senior citizens suffering from severe psychological disorders and who require hospitalisations for evaluation and treatment. It will be managed by a highly qualified multidisciplinary team that includes an elite group of psychological and social specialists, which will be supported by the cooperation between the Emirates Health Services and Maudsley Health, one of the oldest and most important psychological treatment institutions in the world.
"The EHS is very keen to provide exceptional health care to senior citizens, in accordance with the directives of the wise leadership, to improve their quality of life, enhance the public awareness of their health and psychological needs, launch initiatives and projects that focus on promoting their mental health within the national health planning and policies," said Dr. Youssef Mohammed Al Serkal, EHS Director-General.
Al Serkal stressed that senior citizens are now being provided with easy access to services available at Al Amal Hospital, which has international accreditation, the first of its kind in the region.
"We want to develop and train medical and technical cadres, support and promote scientific research in the field of mental health, upgrade information systems and update the statistical database on mental health, in line with the National Mental Health Policy," Al Serkal said.
For her part, Dr. Noor Al Muhairi, Director of EHS's Department of Mental Health, said that introducing a new therapeutic unit for senior citizens will not only improve the available mental health services, but will also help deal with physiological and psychological changes in the aging stage, by evaluating a patient’s behavior and awareness, remedial procedures, effective care methods, as well as provide behavioral and psychological support.
"Recognising the fact that this segment needs special care, we are keen to develop field research to formulate innovative policies, and anticipate challenges to handle them effectively," Al Muhairi added.
Dr. Amna Turki Al Ali, Director of Al Amal Hospital, stated that the inpatient unit for treating mental health issues among senior citizens will improve the efficiency of mental health services meant for this group, using an effective approach that follows the best scientific evidence available, with optimum use of resources and continuous training of mental health service providers.