Introduction to Long-term Care in Taiwan: To Build a Dreamy Island for the Elderly in Kinmen II | Eden Social Welfare Foundation 伊甸基金會

Translator | Kuan Hua Chen           Proofreader | Jonathan Burke 

Resource | https://goo.gl/PEztYL      Article | by Li Hua Su

 

 

Welfare for the elderly is not only carried out on Kinmen’s mainland but also on the front line of Kinmen, Lieyu Township.

 

Senior Service: the Smallest Details

 

Lieyu Township, an important point between the surrounding islands and known as “the front line” strategic point, is also an area the government values. Sending food to elders who cannot move freely, offering scooters, even building a cooking center, just to make sure elderly people can live happier through having meals together, are examples of government care. “We didn’t except none of the 95 people would want the free meals, but would prefer to gather to spend time together, which is impressive.” This demonstrates the real meaning of aging in peace, which is living actively and happily.

 

For those who are so incapacitated they can only take a sponge bath, the government has allocated a budget for a door-to-door shower car. Residents who need it can apply through the Care Management Center, so they can take a pleasant bath and maintain their dignity of life. Ning Kuo-Ping says this service “has helped more than 178 families since last year.”

 

Additionally, the county government also offers 24 free rides on a special access bus each month, to meet the needs of disabled elderly people and those who are physically challenged. This enables them to seek medical advice, rehabilitation, and participate in social activities. To improve accessibility for elderly and disabled people, older buses have been replaced with special low for transit buses.

 

 Senior Home that Makes Everyone Feels Safe

 

After retiring, elderly people are concerned with how to live independently while having no one to help. Home to All provides a low-cost nursing home ease residents’ burdens. An 80-year-old retired teacher whose children work in other cities feels the convenience of having someone looks after for her while she is in residence. She not only has company but also has someone to care for her every need. She is warmed by even small acts like fixing the lights. The center holds a range of social activities, such as cheerful elderly activities and holiday celebrations, taking care of elders in a way that makes them feel like this is a home.

 

Yang Chih-pin, chief of the senior section of Kinmen County’s Home to All, cherishes every elderly person and remembers all their names. When they miss their family, he always distracts them by saying “Grandma, don’t you like me? I thought I was your son”, which makes them laugh. If the family members want to stay overnight with their loved one, the center provides large family rooms which can accommodate couples. All of these actions help golden aged people feel loved.

 

 

(Picture: Yang Chih-pin, chief of the senior section of Kinmen County’s Home to All, cares for the elderly like family.)

 

 Better Medical Treatment, Better Health

 

In the past, Kinmen lacked medical treatment, and leaving the island for better health care was not easy. Kinmen County made great efforts to establish medical and long-term care plans, aiming to build a cozy place for the elderly. Ning Kuo-Ping says Kinmen County will establish a new medical building in Kinmen Hospital, and upgrade equipment in the Center of Cardiac Catheterization with MRI and ultrasound. In an emergency, a 24-hour standby jet with special medical services will ensure patients receive the best treatment as soon as possible. Additionally, the government has recruited skilled medical professionals to stay on Kinmen and care for the residents’ health.

 

 

Footnote: Eden staff visited Kinmen government, and wrote this article. Kinmen government hopes more NGO will join the local services in the future. (Eden Social Welfare Foundation does not yet have a senior service spot in Kinmen.)