SAPSP Online: 21 March 2019. In conjunction with the World Social Day Celebration celebrated annually on 19 March, the Department of Social Welfare (JKM) in collaboration with the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) School of Applied Psychology, Social Work and Policy (SAPSP) organised the Kedah State Level Golden Mind and Intergenerational Relationships among Senior Citizens, Children and Adolescents Seminar 2019 which took place at Cluster Lecture Hall 1.

The first-ever Golden Mind Seminar afforded senior citizens who were professionals with a platform to share knowledge, ideas and expertise towards the development and well-being of senior citizens while the Intergenerational Relationship among Senior Citizen, Children and Adolescents programme was intended at bridging the generation gap between senior citizens and the community particularly with the younger generation.

The launching of both programmes was officiated by the Kedah State Executive Councillor (EXCO) cum Chairman of the Women Development, Welfare and Poverty Eradication Committee, YB Hajah Halimaton Shaadiah Saad.

According to her, the Golden Mind Seminar and Senior Citizens Intergenerational Relationship among Senior citizen, Children and Adolescents Seminar was a manifestation of the government's aspiration to merge activities with senior citizens, children and adolescents. Incidentally the adolescents who took part in this programme comprised UUM students.

"The social well-being and development enjoyed by Malaysians today are the result of the sweat and sheer hard work of the older generation who are now senior citizens.

"It is therefore a social obligation and government’s commitment to provide a conducive environment as a mark of recognition and to assist the senior citizens go through the aging process in an active, productive, healthy and graceful manner," she explained.

She also added that such programme should be extended to all levels of society in order to further enhance mutual respect among the generations, a quality that have become increasingly eroded today.

"As reported by the mass media, many young people do not want to care for their parents and are more willing to send to their parents to old folks homes even though they themselves are capable of take care of their parents.

Meanwhile, the Kedah State Social Welfare Director, Mr. Azmi Abd Karim said the implementation mechanism for the intergenerational programme was based on the Guidelines on Intergenerational Programmes where senior citizens, children and adolescents will jointly engage in activities.

"Among the activities that can be implemented are community based activities, sharing of handicraft making skills, communication skills and other activities that are feasible and considered appropriate with the guidelines.

"Today we have been able to gather Senior Citizens who have registered with the Senior Citizen Activity Centre, UUM Students and Children from the UUM Kindergarten, a combination that goes beyond generation," he said.

Dean of SAPSP, Dr. Abdul Razak Abd Manaf extended his utmost appreciation and gratitude to JKM for selecting UUM as the first University for the implementation of the Golden Mind Seminar and Intergenerational Relationships among Senior Citizens, Children and Adolescents programme.

"The combination of academicians, practitioners, administrators and policy makers in the programme is expected to benefit the senior citizens and the country," he said.

Also present at the event were Director of the Senior Citizens Division, JKM who represented the Social Welfare Director-General, Mr. Azmir Kasim; JKM Directors of the various states and SAPSP lecturers.