Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) has officially signed up to the new 'Commitment to the Care of the Elderly' document as part of its mission to make all its museums, events and community activities accessible to all members of the UAE community.
This document ties in with Sharjah’s membership of the World Health Organization’s global ‘Age-friendly Cities’ network, which will adopt international standards for age friendly cities and improve the accessibility of SMA’s museums for citizens and residents aged over 60 and to increase engagement with elderly members of society.
The signing is in line with the vision of H.H. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, ruler, Sharjah that aims to make Sharjah an ideal environment for older people through the creation of safe, comfortable and welcoming spaces that expertly and efficiently cater to the needs of elderly people.
The new 'Commitment to the Care of the Elderly' document complements the work already being done by SMA as part of its year-round program to encourage older members of society to visit its museums.
SMA’s established policy of engagement with senior citizens successfully prioritises the comfort and the needs of older visitors through a range of practical programs and strategies.
Limiting the amount of time senior citizens spend standing in line or waiting to access exhibits and providing seating in its galleries, exhibition halls and close to artefacts on display are some of the simple but effective ways SMA staff improve the satisfaction and enjoyment of elderly visitors each and every day.
As part of their daily duties, staff are trained to recognize and respond to any potential issues that could negatively impact the comfort of older visitors, with wheelchairs, walking aids available wherever necessary.
Also provided in all museums is a ‘Museum Guide’ booklet, which is written in large text for the benefit of visually impaired visitors, along with hearing aids for members of the public with hearing issues.
The new 'Commitment to the Care of the Elderly' document also complements SMA’s ongoing program of work to support older artists who are active in the artistic community by incorporating their extensive range of skills into exhibits and events.