Minggu, 05 Mei 2013

A visit to Eldercare Centre

A Learning Journey
Its tea break time
A couple of months ago I accompanied Primary 6 children from the school that my son is attending to an Eldercare Centre. I was in my capacity as a parent volunteer. I myself have never been to an eldercare before, so I was as excited as these kids! 

As the nation is ageing, Singapore government put a lot of attention in making sure that their golden citizens is ageing comfortably and gracefully. Taking care of the health matter is important, however paying attention to the welfare and mental health of the senior citizens is equally crucial. 
The daily schedule
An eldercare centre like the one we visited that day helps take care of the mental health of senior citizens. Everyday, a number of senior citizens arrive at this centre to socialize and mingle with other seniors. Some of them are sent by their family members and some of them were fetched by the centre's shuttle van. Soe of them are in good health and very talkative, some are in wheelchairs and very reserved. Some of them have good memory, some have started to show forgetfulness.
"I help you"
An elderly lady is being fetched to go to an eldercare centre.

Prior to coming to an eldercare centre like this one, the elderly need to be registered and pay monthly fee to enjoy the facility. The fee for such centre varies, depending on the condition of the elderly, the facilities and perhaps special treatments they need to get. However as a guideline the monthly fee is roughly around $700 per month for Singapore citizen and PRs, excluding transportation (if needed). You can click this for more info. Some elder care centres (like the one we visited) do accept foreigners but most of them only accept citizens and PRs.

Serving food and drinks to the elderly
So what do these kids usually do during their visit to the eldercare centre? They usually would set up performances to entertain the elderly. Singing, dancing, doing magic or games involving the elderly are so much fun :) 

This is also the time for the students to learn to communicate with people of very different age. From what i observed, these kids very much wanted to talk and share their world with the elderly folks in this centre, which was good of course. However, I reminded them to also make effort to find out more about the elderly and listen to their stories. Well, it is human nature that people want to be heard. The same case as these elderly. So on that day, I asked these kids to exercise their listening skills.  :)
Playing a card game! Who was the winner? :)

So how do i feel after our visit? The visit really humbled me. It serves as a good reminder that we all are going to be in their shoes one day. It made me miss my mom! Yes, my mom is at home safely but I suddenly had the urge to go home and hug her! The visit also made me want to show to my mother how much I love and care for her. I promise myself that i will spend more time with her, whether it is simply having breakfast together or go jalan-jalan with her. 

Ultimately, what the elderly need in their golden years is to spend precious time with their loved ones. Eldercare centres help the elderly go through the day with supervision but nothing can substitute the happiness of being surrounded by their own family. 
So....love thy family love thy mommy and daddy :)

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