Whenever the horrific news of a caregiver's death comes to light, it is always heartbreaking. The long journey of caregiving is physically and mentally exhausting for the caregivers. If they do not know how to ask for help or find resources to assist them, irreparable tragedies may occur. According to the observation of the Eden Foundation, which has been serving the families with disabilities members on the frontline for a long time, when a person is sick, he/she should be aware of the illness, so should the caregivers for persons with disabilities. Especially for the "Parents who are everything everywhere all at once", they are on the verge of collapsing without even realizing it, they have to carry the heavy burden of caring for the body-challenged family member without any complaint or remorse. As the days go by and double aging sets in, the dilemma of caregiving becomes even more severe, and without support, the tragedy will be accelerated.
In order to call on the public to take a serious view of the social issue of caring for persons with disabilities in their old age, Eden's "Support with ease, Lifelong company" service program for persons with disabilities has been launched, joining hands with the charity ambassador, Mr. Alan Kuo, to support families with disabilities members and call on the public to support persons with disabilities to living independently and to accept vocational training to preserve for their old age, and to further enhance the ability of families to support and assist each other, to alleviate the pressure of the family caregivers, and to keep caring persons with disabilities even after they grow old so they can age well.
Eden's "Support with ease, Lifelong company" service program for persons with disabilities has been launched, calling on the public to take a serious view of the social issue of caring for persons with disabilities in their old age.
In addition to taking part in the main photo shoot, charity ambassador Alan Kuo took time out from his busy schedule to shoot the public service advertisement "A Lifetime's Commitment", portraying a single father has a daughter with disabilities, who has gone from young and handsome to gray in hair, and who has gritted his teeth in taking on the financial and care responsibilities, as this is a lifelong commitment he has made to his wife and daughter. Alan Kuo, who is famous for loving his baby daughter, said during the filming that a lifetime is both long and short, and that as a parent and caregiver, he is always afraid that he will not be able to be with his child until she grows old. Alan Ko urges that caring for a family member with a disability is not the caregiver's job alone, but everyone's job, and to remember to seek external resources in a timely manner, so as to allow yourself some breathing time and space, and to alleviate the heavy burden on your shoulders.
Eden Charity Ambassador, Mr. Alan Kuo, called on the public to keep caring persons with disabilities even after they grow old so they can age well.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, there are about 1.2 million persons with disabilities in Taiwan, of which about 940,000 are over the age of 45. 92% live at home, and nearly 70% of persons with disabilities who need assistance from other people in their daily lives are taken care by their family members. The statutory definition of the Senior Citizens Welfare Act is 65 years of age or above, but the persons with disabilities often deteriorate 20 years earlier than ordinary people, which means that persons with disabilities will enter old age at the age of 45. With family members still taking up the most caring responsibilities, the aging of both the persons with disabilities and their caregivers is accelerating, making the need for care even more urgent and complex.
Mr. Chi-Bon Lu, Director of Eden Wan-Fang Center for Disabled People (first from left), service user, Hsiao Chun (second from left), and Charity Ambassador, Alan Kuo (right), wishing Hsiao Chun's mother a happy birthday.
"I am getting old and so is Hsiao Chun. If I can no longer take care of Hsiao Chun, what should I do in the future? This is what Hsiao Chun's mother, a service user of Wan-Fang Center for Disabled People, said. Hsiao Chun is 40 years old, because of premature birth, is a cerebral palsy with severe multi-disabilities, since birth, the mother has taken the main responsibility of care, and therefore Hsiao Chun is very dependent on her mother, and is unwilling to leave her. 68 years old mother said that she had discussed with Hsiao Chun about the future care arrangements, such as a 24-hour disability care service, but Hsiao Chun was reluctant to do so. Now that Hsiao Chun and her mother are in middle age and old age respectively, other family members are busy with work and family affairs, and are unable to accompany Hsiao Chun and her mother at all times. In recent years, there have been cases where Hsiao Chun had no one to take care of when her mother was hospitalized. The need for care extended by double aging is a pressing issue for Hsiao Chun's family.
Hsiao Chun and her mother are very close to each other, but the need for double aging care is urgent.
Eden's Vice CEO, Mr. Mitch Tsao, said that in the past 40 years, Eden has not only taken care of persons with disabilities, but also their families, and that only by focusing on the family can we provide appropriate services for persons with disabilities. Eden's multi-disciplinary services for adults with disabilities include case management, supportive services of double aging for the families with mentally challenged members, supportive employment, small-scale sheltered community workshop, day care services, community-based inclusive living program, etc., which are expected to improve the quality of life of families with disabilities, and to make aging well no longer unattainable. For more information, please search for "Eden’s Services Program for Persons with Disabilities" or call our support hotline at 0800-025885.