Sunday, April 20, 2008

The visit

We had a visit to the old folks home. And had to write a report on it.


Report on visit to Little Sister of the Poor

We were told by our lecturers that we were going to visit the best home for the old folks in Malaysia. The home goes by the name of Little Sister of the Poor. Not knowing what to expect in a home, my peers and I went on a 30 minute bus ride from our faculty to that particular home on that beautiful Thursday morning.

The home is situated in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city, in a residential area in Cheras. As we arrived at the gates, I was struck in awe to see the landscape of the home almost alike a resort. There were plenty greeneries surrounding the main building, making the home seem very serene and peaceful. With the background of white whorls of clouds and a light blue sky, the home seems picture perfect, almost like one of the wallpapers Microsoft created for users as their computer’s wallpaper.

As we arrived a tad bit early, and the residents of the home were still having their morning prayers in the chapel, the person in charge, Sister Mary Joan told us to check out the facilities of the home while waiting. There was a rock garden in the home, which was good for the old folks reflexology. In addition to that, they also had a very beautiful garden, and pavements for walking as well.

Finally we were able to meet the old folks. We divided ourselves in smaller groups and talked to the old folks. I had the chance to meet three of the residents Albert, Patrick and Freddie. During the short period of meeting, they told a bit of their life stories and experiences to me, telling me why they decided to stay in the home and what their hopes are for the future. At one point, while talking, one of them even got teary-eyed. I guess even as contented as they were with the situation in the home, not having to worry about when their next meal is going to be or thinking about where to sleep at night, they were not ultimately happy with their life.

We were then brought around to see the other facilities in the home. There were two clinics, medical and dental respectively, a rehabilitation centre fully equipped with machines to help the elderly folks, an arts and craft workshop for the women to practice their sewing and knitting, a kopitiam, a sundry shop, a gift shop and a library. We also had a chance to see one of the rooms of the old folks. It was definitely made in such a way to help the elderly, there were buttons in the toilet and near the bed to call the nurse in case they had a fall, the bed was automatic, and could be bended to further support the spine as they lie down. We were then told that there were plenty of activities held in the home, among them are tai chi classes, karaoke nights, choir practice and so on. We even had the chance to see one of the residents perform two songs on his guitar for us.

There was also a sick wing in the home, where most of the bedridden residents were placed. It was a sad sight to see the residents at this wing, most of them unaware of their surrounding, and not having a glimmer of hope in their eyes anymore. Some of us were reduced to tears watching this, and even I became teary-eyed to see the residents in this condition.

At that point I realized, although there were visitors coming and going to this home, expressing their sympathy, leaving donations, it just ends there. The responsibility to care for the residents still lies on the shoulders of the sisters in the home, because at the end of the day, the one who would be making meals, changing their clothes and going to the hardship with them are not the going to be the visitors after all, but the sisters.

Probably it is good for the old folks who have no family to care for them to stay in the home. At least they would be happier with the other old folks instead of struggling to make ends meet so that they can live, eat, drink or sleep like any other ordinary person. At the end of the day, no
one would want to care for these elderly folks unless they are part of the family, because they consider these old folks not as their problem, but another person’s.


That was the report. (Because I'm too malas to blog about the visit). But we had some time to camwhore though.

Statues of liberty :P (Ai Y'ng macam power rangers)

Butt-slapping action

Jumping. Tapi macam pic yang tak jadik. Will practice more.

Diorang ni posing.

These are the cutest room-mates ever. :P

Chinese trapped in body with Malay face, trying to dance tarian asli, plus the cute munchkin at the back sticking out her tongue.

Pan-cute. I don't know what face Ai Y'ng (in yellow) is trying to portray.

Favourite picture of the whole bunch. Tranquility.

We are walking on stepping stones.

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