Love for the Elderly on Moon Festival
Invited by the Hua-Shan Foundation, Good Way employees visited elders who live alone on the eve of Moon Festival to bring them moon cakes and daily supplies.
The elders visited this time mainly live in Shindian City, in which Good Way is located. After lunchtime, 9 employees volunteered to participate in this event hosted by Hua-Shan Foundation. The volunteers split into 3 teams. Each team went to a different route to find these elders who live alone and handed bread, pain relief patches, food stamps, moon cakes and other supplies, hoping these goods could give the elders a happy moon festival. GW employees also chatted with the elders about their lives and remarked concerning details for the reference of the professional medical care keepers.
Mr. Wu, the manager of Hua-Shan Foundation gave a pep talk before sending the volunteers off to the elders’ homes. He reminded the volunteers that the elders might be unfamiliar with the strange visitors, so it was easier to put on Hua-Shan’s volunteer vests for them to better recognize. Because some of the elders might not be able to move quickly, volunteers should wait patiently after ringing the bell. When talking to the elders, make sure to speak slowly and loudly. The elders might forget the content of the conversations right away and ask the same questions, please be patient when talking to them.
When visiting one of the elders, a grandmother who lived in a dark alley, the volunteers could hear the voice of the grandmother from the second floor. She kept calling, “A-Mong”, her grandson, who was nowhere to be found. When the volunteers went upstairs, they found a 93-year-old grandmother with dementia sitting on the bed. She was wearing a pair of discolored pants. Next to the grandmother was a bowl of noodles, half-eaten and some noodles on the floor. The volunteers greeted the grandmother and handed the Moon Festival present. Grandmother kept speaking Taiwanese, “No, no, go, go!.” Although the volunteers are a little shocked by Grandmother’s reaction, but after a short chat, Grandmother said frankly, “I don’t have anything for you. Thank you, but please go!” The volunteers realized that Grandmother was not being unfriendly; she was just ashamed that she couldn’t return anything for the Moon Festival gift. The understanding also saddened the volunteers.
Among the elders visited, there were two brothers who lived in an old and narrow dormitory of the post office. The older brother has a high blood pressure and angiosclerosis and just got back from the hospital. The younger brother kept telling the volunteers how worried he was of his brother because the doctor said that he might be gone any minute. Mr. Wu said that in the beginning when they wanted to start caring for the brothers, they refused strongly, probably due to their pride. The two elders even wanted the volunteers to leave when they visited previously. After more than 10 visits, the two elders finally gave up and accepted the help. In the beginning of this year, Mr. Wu wanted to quit the job because of personal reason. He visited the two elders to say goodbye. Suddenly, the two grandfathers hugged him and begged him no to go with tears on their faces. Mr. Wu felt the responsibility of keeping this job.
There was also a grandmother who has mental disorder. Her house was very messy and has a strange smell. When she saw the volunteers, her first question was, “Did I do something wrong? Please don’t take me away!” Grandmother has been reported by the neighbors many times because of the messiness of her house, so time to time the officer from the Bureau of Environmental Protection would come and check on her. That was why Grandmother gets scared when she sees strangers. The volunteers felt very sympathetic when they see the helpless Grandmother.
Some GW’s employees asked Mr.Wu, “”Some of families look alright with their environment and life standard, why do we still need to visit and care for them?”
Mr. Wu replied, “There is always a story behind every elder and his or her family. He or her might still own a house but cannot apply for any financial aid from the government. Therefore, they might not have any income. Most of the elders live alone without any family; they might be suicidal. We need to care for these elders because the government might not spend resources on them.”
Emily from the Quality Control Department shared her feelings after today’s visiting the elders, “Today, I held hands with every elder we visited and chatted with them. They are around 80-90 years old, just like my own grandparents. I have children now, so I understand the importance of having people I love being around me. See the elders makes me feel that I am very luck and grateful. I’m concerned for the elders we met today, and if there is chance in the future to care and help them, I will definitely participate again!”
With the ending of this voluntary activity of visiting the elders on the Eve of Moon Festival, Good Way’s employees visited 20 elders. Most elders were happy to receive blessings and presents before Moon Festival Day. They also wish that the volunteers could visit them more often. Although the gathering time was short, our hearts are warm. There are so many elders in need in Sindian City. We hope there will be more people participate to care for the elders in the future and spread the love and warm to each corners of Sindian City.