Indonesia's purple squad rescues abandoned elders

A growing number of elderly people suffering from Alzheimer's disease are being found abandoned in Indonesia.

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    Jakarta, Indonesia - With a rapidly ageing population, more than one million people in Indonesia are known to besuffering from Alzheimer's.

    A growing number of those are being found abandoned. Many are left by relatives who are unable to take care of them.

    In the past decade, the average age in Indonesia has increased from 68 to almost 73.

    As a result, the government has launched an awareness campaign. Members of the government's purple squad, a team of social workers, are now approaching elderly people who appear to be lost in the capital.

    "In the past few days, I've found several elderly people on the streets," Lia, a social worker, told Al Jazeera.

    "They often don't remember their names and have no idea where they are. So these days we meet neglected elderly people every day."

    After an individual is convinced to go to the shelter, social workers try to establish their addresses.

    In many cases they find they don't have a home any more.

    The women are taken to one of four homes for the elderly in Jakarta. These homes are quickly running out of space and funding.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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