(after being visited 6 times)
She felt that the relationship with students are gradually getting better and better. She would think of them and wanted to make a call to them. The students are very responsible and call her in advance before visiting her. They are very thoughtfulness and get her some daily necessities. She appreciate very much the help from students to complete the life album for her which means a lot to her. She welcome the visit of new voluntary team for the coming school term.
(after being visited 5 times)
The students bought her an umbrella to meet her need. They shared their good time of the school work in Beijing which enriched the granny’s life. The granny hoped that the half accomplished life album will be completed soon by the new voluntary team in the coming school term.
(after being visited twice)
The students are very thoughtful and bought her some cooking oil and noodles. It is too short to meet the students only twice through which she was not able to build up better relationship with the students. She looks forward to being visited by new voluntary team in the coming school term.
(after her 6th visit to her matched granny)
Before our formal visit, a two-hour briefing session was held by Caritas Services for the Elderly district centre. We learnt a lot of communication techniques with the elderly and the method of measuring blood pressure. Then, we started our visit.
This was the first time we visited singleton elders. Their home is very small. It is so small that it can only accommodate a bed and a folding table. It is impossible to place more chairs. We really felt that we are so fortunate. Our room is even bigger than their home.
During our visit, we could understand their needs. We would mark them down and try our best to bring the things that they need in our next visit. Chatting with them, we felt much better than we expected. They were very talkative. They did not mind we knew nothing. They were very friendly. Their friendliness made me feel shameful. Sometimes I am very impolite towards my friends and family. But, they were very polite to strangers like us. We have to learn from them. In fact, when we were small, we have already loved voluntary work. We have taken part in game stalls, elderly and mental retarded services. This was the first time that we have been visiting the same singleton elder for consecutive six months. We felt very special. The previous visits were once and for all only. We mostly went to the elderly home. It was very rare for us to visit singleton elders. Even though we had, I had helped them do cleaning. Yet, after that I have never done any more. Hence, this time I was very happy, following our teacher, to visit the singleton elders to understand them more and to make them live happily. During our one-hour visits, our relationship with the granny was getting closer every time. When we saw each other, we had more things to talk about. Then, I understood her needs better. I could bring her some daily necessities during our visits. Later, if we have a similar opportunity, we are still happy to serve, to understand and to care for them personally.
~By a Form IV Student of Marycove School
F4 MARYCOVE STUDENT
Hi Sindy, Thanks so much for your prompt f/u with Caritas and the Social Welfare Dept. We (Group 5 members) are so happy to hear that. And we could feel the happy voice of Wan Po Po during the several chats in the past 2 weeks. She said that she will go visit Ms. Lai and Ms. Cheung directly to appreciate their support and help.
This is a very meaningful event and we sincerely hope that this could bring more happiness to lonely elders in HK.
A DISNEY VOLUNTEAR
It happened that I had to get up early to go to a faraway place at Keung Shan and Sha Lo Wan in Lantau Island to visit the elderly during the coldest two days. I was absolutely reluctant but I had already promised. I was half asleep and freezing when I started off unwillingly.
After getting off, it was still a distance for me to walk to the old people’s home. The road was neither too long nor too difficult. Although the chilly wind blew by fits and starts, it was still better than I imagined. I could stand. We arrived at a cottage very soon. First of all, we visited two Buddhists, Ci-ding Shi and Jingling Shi. When they saw us, they were very excited. Jingling Shi went to Ci-ding Shi’s home to wait for us.
We chatted with them and asked about their health condition. I did not feel cold at all.
Was it due to the structure of cottage, which was built in a way that it would become warm in winter and cool in summer, or the influence of the two old people, who were so joyful? They looked much younger, almost twenty years, than their real age. They were also very smart. Was it because their home was away from the hustle and bustle life or they led a pure and quiet life? Jingling Shi, who looked like seventy in appearance, was actually ninety years old. She was especially ‘hyper’ active when we visited them. She was like a naughty old girl, who was agile and talkative. When we measured their blood pressure, it had risen quite high. Ci-ding Shi was also very trendy. She got a plasma television in this stylish ancient house.
This experience changed my mind. A meaningful activity should not be boring. Visiting the elderly should not be melancholy and pitiful. When we render them care and happiness, they also give us joy. Remembering when I was small, I read a story written by Ah Nong. A girl is taking an old man passing by. Actually, the girl is older than the man. She is the elder of the old man. In that place, their world is different from us. When people were born, they are old people. When they are growing up, they become younger. When they are old, they become babies. Hence, are people lovelier when they get older? If old people are like babies, everybody loves them. Then, the cases of old people being neglected or abandoned would be greatly reduced. Kids are more loveable than old people. Therefore, they are easily adopted and receive more care. However, the elderly also has a lovely side. Moreover, they have contributed to society more than half of their lifetime. They deserved our care.
Have you ever taken your grannies to the Disneyland?
‘The Elderly Sponsorship Action: Rebuild the Ageing Culture’ of Happy Grannies started its first outdoor activities, Wonderful Disneyland Trip for the Elderly, in the not so chilly winter morning. The elderly were escorted by their volunteers to go to Disneyland to experience a wonderful world.
Early in the morning, volunteers fetched the elderly from their home to the gathering place. (Caritas in Sham Shui Po/ Youth S. P. O. Ts in Tseung Kwan O)We started off separately by coaches. We met again after the two coaches arrived at Disneyland. All the people took a photo before the ‘Welcome to the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort’ sign. Afterwards, we paraded to the park and had lunch at Riverview Café in Adventureland. After entering the park, we immediately felt the hilarious atmosphere. On our way, the volunteers took great care of the elderly. They supported them with hands, pushed their wheelchairs or carried an umbrella to shade them from the sunlight. They showed their care in every aspect. Looking at the young volunteers (especially the students) who served the elderly solicitously, can you say that Hong Kong people are indifferent?
Before the meal, we presented our souvenirs to Disneyland’s person in-charge. We thanked them for their generosity for sponsoring our entrance fee. So, we can have an opportunity to enjoy our holiday with the elderly. Also, we thanked them for organizing a voluntary team to visit the elderly.
After our lunch, it was free time. Different voluntary teams accompanied their elderly to take part in various activities. They might take the train to tour around. Or, they could get on the raft to cross the river to go to the Tazan’s Treehouse on the island to join all kinds of activities there. Or, they could follow the brave skipper to explore the mysterious waters. Some volunteers took their elderly to watch ‘The Golden Mickeys’ musical show for commending Disneyland’s most popular characters. Or, they could watch the ‘Festival of the Lion King’ musical show with gorgeous scenes and rich in funny details. All of them are fully satisfied with these two magnificent shows. This activity let us experience the no barrier facilities of the park which is deserved to be claimed suitable for both old people and children.
We stayed in the park for over half a day. Then, we left unwillingly. This activity gives an opportunity for the sponsors, volunteers and elderly to establish a good relationship.
Friends, you must take your grannies out when you have a chance. Don’t let yourself had any regrets!