Serving the Elderly in Taiwan

                     SERVICE TO THE NEEDY

Holy Name of Jesus Unit

Service to the Needy! We feel very much honored to be entrusted by the Department of Health of Kaohsiung City Government to set up day care stations for elder people with slight dementia.

We may say that the visible sign of our society today is aged people! And they need special care. Our St. Joseph Hospital is ready to meet this need. In fact before we got the request from the Department of Health, we have had special day care services for the elderly with dementia in our Nursing Home, where the Hospital staff not only kept the aged people indoors, but also coordinated various activities to get them involved, happy and become healthy.

Responding to the request of the Department of Health, we set up two places for this purpose. One is in our St. Joseph Hospital and the other is in Zuoying, the former site of our kindergarten built in 1956, near St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Church. Looking back at the history of service to people in Zuoying, we can see that our apostolic service has been responding to the call of the times. Originally our mission was to take care of the parish Catechism for the children during summer and winter vacations starting in 1952, the kindergarten in 1954, and then a clinic in 1956 in which our German Sister Pacis took care of the clinic and Sister Hilda came over to help from Kaohsiung City twice a week. In the same year, a small St. Theresa convent behind the kindergarten was also built. When those two German Sisters retired and went back to their country, the clinic was closed. Zuoying city has developed. In 1985, the kindergarten was also closed because of the decreasing number of children. Then in 1997 the vacant convent and the kindergarten were renovated and became a social service center – Well Spring Home (康達家園) which was used to take care of abused women and later became   a halfway home for adolescent girls. We ended this social service in June 2016 because more and more there are larger social service institutes taking care of them now around this island.

Then the city’s call for utilizing our vacant space to serve people with dementia came to us. The former administration office of Well Spring Home and the class rooms of the former kindergarten are again renovated into “Happy Living School,” a day care center for  elder people with slight dementia. Now this School is currently providing a different means to help the elderly enjoy life in their golden age and slow down or prevent dementia. Moreover, the School is also used for the family members. It is very important to help, encourage and support those family members who take care of the elderly with dementia, and to provide proper ways of accompanying the old.