Vol­un­teers, so­cial work­ers care for the needy

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By CHEN MEILING chen­meil­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

HAN BO / FOR CHINA DAILY

The Nan­putuo Tem­ple is lo­cated in the Sim­ing district. Many so­cial work­ers are trained at the tem­ple to serve peo­ple in need.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A vol­un­teer at the Qian­punan com­mu­nity cuts an old per­son’s hair for free in his home.

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