Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

Number 4, knock at the door: Healthcare provider introduces bingo for the elderly in the UAE

The game is part of Manzil's health support packages, which will be made available to UAE nationals and expats living or visiting the country

A bingo caller in Scotland's largest city of Glasgow - known for its many halls and well attended games - oversees a packed room. Jeff Mitchell / Getty Images
A bingo caller in Scotland's largest city of Glasgow - known for its many halls and well attended games - oversees a packed room. Jeff Mitchell / Getty Images

A healthcare provider is introducing services for the elderly which include bingo, grooming services and day trips on the back of visa changes for retirees in the UAE.

Manzil Healthcare Services’ health and social care support packages will be made available to both UAE nationals and foreigners living or visiting the country.

The company said the new packages were prompted in part by the announcement of five-year visas for retirees earlier this year.

Although the thought of growing old in the emirates is a new concept for non-Emiratis, Manzil said it was important that social activities for older residents were on offer.

To qualify for a retirement visa, retirees must own property in the UAE worth Dh2 million, have savings of more than Dh1m, or earn more than Dh20,000 a month. Applications will open early next year.

Earlier this year, The National canvassed elderly Emiratis who said they yearn for a chance to remain for of the community.

“The change was one of the reasons we introduced it,” said Pooja Shah, a project manager with Manzil, who said games like bingo could be put on for family and friends.

“But there are many people who come in for a three-month visa to see their children, so this would apply to them as well. It’s not only for people who are residents here.”

The subscription service will include healthcare visits as well as social support.

“Our caregivers or nurses will be able to be a companion for the elderly to be able to go with them to family visits if needed, and arrange a bingo night at home,” said Ms Shah.

“We can also take the patients outside for iftar dinners. We can attend with them to a football match if they’re interested. We also provide grooming services like shaving and hair cutting. We have educational sessions about the Ramadan diet and we can take them to the Grand Mosque or on city tours.”

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Read more:

'Don't forget us': UAE's elder citizens yearn for a chance to remain part of the community

UAE to allow expats to retire on five-year visa, Sheikh Mohammed says

Is the UAE's new five-year visa a game changer for expat retirement?

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The programme will also offer awareness sessions about topics such as healthy eating during Ramadan, as well as education to teach the patient’s family about how to care for them when the staff are not around.

"We are going to be providing regular awareness and health and non-health related tips and educational material,” said Ms Pooja.

Details are still being finalised, but regular packages are expected to include most services except grooming, which could be an add-on.

VIP packages will likely include a social event on a monthly basis, while regular packages may offer them once every two months, said Ms Shah.

They will be available from January.

Updated: December 13, 2018 04:04 PM

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