Wed, Jun 28, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Ko urges elderly to start moving to stay healthy, alert

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

A lazy government gives elderly people cash handouts, but a more responsible government gives them priority transit passes to encourage a more active and healthy life, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

Ko made the remark at a regular municipal meeting at the city’s Datong District (大同) office yesterday morning.

After listening to a report made by the Taipei Department of Social Welfare about its long-term care program, Ko parsed the word “activity” (活動) into “live” (活) and “move” (動).

“You have to move your body to live,” he said.

He said while there is a priority bus pass for those aged 65 and over to take bus rides for free up to 60 times per month, he wants to expand the service this year to include the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, taxis and YouBikes and also for visiting municipal facilities, such as taking the grandchildren to Taipei Zoo.

“The Taipei City Government used to give each senior citizen NT$1,500 and did not care how they spent it, but the government should have policies to guide people such as giving a senior citizen a priority transit card in the hope that elderly people would be able to participate in more activities,” Ko said.

Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics show that the nation’s leading causes of death last year were cancer, heart disease and pneumonia, he said.

As many people, especially the elderly, die of pneumonia each year, the city government is planning to provide free vaccinations starting in October, Ko said, instructing the Taipei Department of Health to make preparations.

“We want to become a more responsible government,” he said, adding that the city is planning to provide integrated services for senior citizens starting from the Double Nine Festival.

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