Vietnam needs policies to take care of the elderly better as the rate of the elderly continues to be on the rise in the coming period, a leading official in charge of social affairs has said.

At a seminar on the Elderly in Vietnam: opportunities, challenges and orientations for policies in Hanoi on Sept. 28, Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam, who is also permanent member of the Vietnam National Elderly Committee, said the elderly matter will be the focus of the government’s programmes, policies and schemes as soon as the national action programme on the elderly for the 2012-2020.

At the event, Chief Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Bruce Campbell said Vietnam is experiencing a period when the birthrate and mortality rates fall while the longevity continues to rise.

He suggested Vietnam ’s policies and strategies focus on practical and sustainable initiatives to help the elderly actively involve in socio-cultural, economic and physical activities.

The policies must ensure that all people can access to payable basic social services, the chief representative stressed.

According to demographic experts, population ageing, one of the outstanding trends of the 21 st century, poses challenges to the society, economics and culture.

Investment in healthcare, education, and stable jobs for young people play an important role in meeting the elderly’s demands in the future, they said.-VNA