Volunteers, social workers care for the needy
With the demographic changes brought about by urbanization, the number of old people, those who have lost their only child or live al o n e i s gr o w i n g . Ho m e - based care for the aged has become the primary choice for older citizens.
The Siming district of Xiamen has built about 100 ser vice stations, targeting elderly people in its communities, since 2007.
Ren Xiaoyun, a social worker with the Q ianpunan community in Lianqian subdistrict of Siming, said the community has 45 disabled old people, more than 10 of whom are bedridden patients.
Doctors, volunteers and social workers were organized since earlier this year to provide medical services for those people, she said.
Ch e n Xu nb o , 84 , di a g - nosed with mild Parkinson’s disease, can walk with the assistance of crutches, and his wife, a severe Parkinson’s patient, has to lie in bed all day long.
The two hired a nurse to live with them.
Doctors would chat with the couple and perform physical examinations on each visit, teaching the nurse how to take care of the patients.
Ch e n ’s wi f e sa i d sh e adored their company.
C hen Yayao, an 81-yearold woman with high blood pressure, was reluctant to see doctors and often threw away the pills brought by her son.
The community workers visited her from time to time to understand her concerns. They invited a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine to give her dietary therapy. With this help, her blood pressure dropped within a month.
Among the more than 3,000 residents of the community older than 60, about 480 live on their own.
A school for the elderly in the community organizes about 40 classes, including cooking, computing, planting and healthcare to enrich their life in retirement.
A workshop was established to help those with disabilities or mental illness to learn handicrafts that can be sold to raise charitable funds.
Other activities, including free clinics, haircutting, legal consultancy and exchanges of unused ar ticles, are held once or twice a week.
Since 2013, Siming district has provided free nutritious lunches and dinners for residents aged over 6 0 wh o ca n’ t ma k e th e i r own living or have no one to support them.
Jiang Zhirong, 73, is one of them. Jiang doesn’ t have a ch i l d o r a pe n s i o n . Fo r years, he relied on the government subsidies of 400 yuan ($59.07 ) per month to live.
“I used to cook one dish at noon and eat whatever was left in the evening in order to save the e xpense of gas,” he said.
One rainy day, volunteers gave him a lunch containing rice, meat, tofu, pumpkin and soup.
“We ch a t ev e r y ti m e they come. They even ask whether I am satisfied with their ser vices,” he said.
The Nanputuo Temple is located in the Siming district. Many social workers are trained at the temple to serve people in need.
A volunteer at the Qianpunan community cuts an old person’s hair for free in his home.