From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Taiwan's Mennonites Step up for the Elderly

From "pctpress" <>
Date Tue, 20 Apr 2004 15:02:37 +0800

Taiwan Church News 2720, 12 through 18 April 2004

Reported by: Yang Shu-hao.  Translated and Rewritten by David Alexander

Taiwan's population rapidly grows grayer. How will the problem of old age
be met?  The Mennonite Christian Hospital in Hualien recently held a
to mark the release of two newly published books: "The Dignity of Age" and
"Care of the Elderly". The hospital noted that eldercare is not just a matter
of treating special diseases; it involves understanding emotional and
psychological aspects of the transitions faced.  Only when these are taken
into account can true care and respect for the life of the elderly be carried
through.  Since all of us will eventually face "age", we must learn for the
sake of our own futures.

Hospital Publications Director Wang Guo-ping said, "Respect of the old begins
from understanding and recognition of the aging process."  She explained the
contents of the books with examples.  "If an elderly person takes more than
ten seconds to chew a mouthful of rice, he or she is medically considered
'swallowing disabled'." Easy diagnoses like this put aging into a medical
category.  But families do not see their aged members as in need of medical
intervention.  Families need to come out and become trained in the broader
aspects of aging so care for their elderly members can be enhanced.

Hospital Superintendent Huang Sheng-hsiung said, "Every birth in this
is surrounded by parent education.  We teach people how to take care of their
infants.  But the elderly in the households are often neglected.  This
hospital's gerontology center focuses on the needs of elderly care. Our
publication of these two books is one way in which we demonstrate that
emphasis.  We want to help all to improve their knowledge and skill in the
care of their elders so that the old folks among us might have blessed and
abundant lives."

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