Introduction to Long-term Care in Taiwan: Elderly Services for Indigenous Elders, Taitung | Eden Social Welfare Foundation 伊甸基金會

Translation | Helen Chang   Resource | https://goo.gl/4sN8G4 伊甸園月刊

 

Changbin Township, a medical desert, has the worst case of population aging in Taitung County. On the northern end of Taitung County lies the township of Changbin, of which the percentage of senior residents in the township population reached 23.4%, dwarfing the figures of the rest of Taitung County. During their visits, officers from Public Health Bureau of Taitung County (“the Bureau”) (台東縣衛生局), found that most of the physically and mentally disabled elderly in the indigenous tribes were forced by circumstances to choose either long-distance trips from home to seek medical attention and nursing services, or taking care of themselves and their family all on their own. But what to do with the ever heavier burden of caretaking as the current caretakers themselves age?

 

長濱鄉是台東縣老化最嚴重的地區,同時也是醫療資源的荒區。長濱鄉位在台東縣的北端,老人比例23.4%位居台東縣之冠。在台東縣衛生局訪視過程中發現,部落的失能和失智者,多半只能遠離他鄉就醫,安養,或是靠著己力獨自照料家人和自己,一旦照顧者漸漸老化時,照顧重擔該怎麼辦?

 

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Article by Li Hua Su │ Photo by Wei Gang He 文│蘇麗華  攝影│何維綱

 


(Photo: The garden-style design allows the elderly with dementia to receive onsite horticultural treatments, stimulating their five senses.)

 

Qi Fu Multifunctional Long-term Care Institute 台東耆福綜合式長照機構

Uniquely scenic with the ocean in front and high mountains at its rear, the tranquil and unaffected township of Changbin, Taitung County, is currently populated mainly by the elderly and their grandchildren whom they help raise. The two clinics and scattered pharmacies are all the medical resources available to the locals. The situation begs the question of who is going to take care of the people here when they become physically and mentally disabled in old age. Aware of the local needs, Eden Social Welfare Foundation (“Eden”) (伊甸社會福利基金會) was commissioned by Taitung County Government (“the County”)(台東縣政府) to launch Qi Fu Multifunctional Long-term Care Institute (“the Institute”) (耆福綜合式長照機構), thereby closing the distance between long-term care and the indigenous elderly.

台東縣長濱鄉依山面海擁有獨特的自然景觀,在這靜謐,純樸的鄉鎮裡,充斥著老人和隔代教養的孩子。這裏只有兩間診所和零星的藥局,這些就是他們僅有的醫療資源。當失智和失能時,誰來照顧他們呢?如今,伊甸看見當地的需要,承接台東縣政府耆福綜合式長照機構的服務,陪伴原鄉部落的長者們,提供一處安心托老的地方,讓長照之路不再遙遠。

 

Aging Index Hits High老化指數位居台東之冠

On the northern end of Taitung County lies the township of Changbin, of which the percentage of senior residents in the township population reached 23.4%, dwarfing the figures of the rest of Taitung County. During their visits, officers from Public Health Bureau of Taitung County (“the Bureau”) (台東縣衛生局), found that most of the physically and mentally disabled elderly in the indigenous tribes were forced by circumstances to choose either long-distance trips from home to seek medical attention and nursing services, or taking care of themselves and their family all on their own. But what to do with the ever heavier burden of caretaking as the current caretakers themselves age? Last year, to address the aforementioned issue, the County engaged the Bureau to repurpose the unused campus space of Zhong Yong Elementary School (忠勇國小) as land for social welfare purposes, a long-term care establishment in this case, thereby making “aging in place” a dream-come-true.

長濱鄉位在台東縣的北端,老化人口比例23.4%位居台東縣之冠。在台東縣衛生局訪視過程中發現,部落的失能和失智者,多半只能遠離他鄉就醫,安養,或是靠著己力獨自照料家人和自己,一旦照顧者漸漸老化時,照顧重擔該怎麼辦?去年,縣府特地將閒置的忠勇國小校園空間活化再利用,由衛生局協助將學校用地變更為社福用地,打造成長照機構,實現就地安養的美夢。

 


(Photo: The rattan-weaved furniture makes the locals feel at home.)

 

Integrate into Home and Society 融入社區打造居家感

In addition to nursing care, the Institute also equipped with life rehabilitation facilities. During their daytime in the Institute, the elderly enjoy a nostalgic eye feast of rattan-weaved furniture and wall decorations featuring indigenous fishing activities. When touring the Institute, visitors of the older generation all sigh in awe, feeling at home. Once in the occupational therapy zone, the elderly are provided with ample sensory stimuli, especially those for touch and sight, designed to help mitigate the degenerative effects of senile dementia.

機構具備照顧服務外,還兼具生活重建功能。長者白天在機構接受照料,觸目所及的藤編家具,原民捕魚壁面,喚起懷舊記憶,長輩參觀時,無不發出讚嘆聲,猶如回家的感覺。來到職能治療空間,透過觸覺和視覺刺激,豐富他們五感體驗,有助延緩失智退化的作用。

 

Currently, the Institute offers to take in 24 clients while the locals have been eager to sign up. According to plan, the second floor of the Institute is going to be transformed into an older people’s club and a children’s afterschool center, serving as a venue for community residents’ happy get-togethers.

目前可招收24位服務對象,社區居民早已引頸期盼,期望可以接受服務。未來,二樓部分將規劃銀髮俱樂部和安親課輔班,成為社區居民歡聚的場所。

 

Age in Place 在地安老

Now, Qi Fu Multifunctional Long-term Care Institute (耆福綜合式長照機構), Taitung, has been set up to benefit the locals by enabling the elderly who would be fatigued by long-distance trips to seek medical attention and nursing services, to be served near their home, making them feel loved and accompanied as they “age in place”.

如今,台東耆福綜合式長照機構的成立,嘉惠當地居民,讓原本需要離鄉就醫和安養的長者,可以不再舟車勞頓,便能就近使用服務,在地安老,有愛相隨。

 

Integral to Eden’s commitment to secure the peace and ease of the underprivileged, daycare institutions are the embodiment of Eden’s best wishes for the local elderly to never feel lonely and helpless in old age, but to find the last mile of life’s journey abounds in love.

老年不再孤苦無依,有了日照機構,伊甸守護在地長者安老,人生最後一哩路,愛一直都在。

 

More Information for Eden’s Care Service:

(CN) http://edencare.eden.org.tw/

(ENG) https://goo.gl/XsfuVj

 

Activity Announcement:

TRANSED 2018 Conference長者及身心障礙者交通與運輸服務國際大會:www.transed2018.com