Date: November 1, 2015
By: PAT GAO
Taiwan is working to provide universal coverage for long-term care services.
When Xu Mei-jiao (許美嬌) reminisces about her childhood in northern Taiwan’s Hsinchu
County, her thoughts invariably turn to her grandparents. Her father’s parents played a central role in her upbringing, raising her with affection and patience when her father and mother left the family home for several years to work in the nation’s cities. As she grew older, as is so often the case, the roles of caregiver and care recipient reversed. After her grandmother passed away, Xu, then a junior high school student, helped look after her increasingly frail grandfather. Far from viewing this as a burden, she felt a sense of contentment in returning the kindness that her relative had previously shown her.
Inspired by the happy times she shared with her beloved grandparents, Xu later pursued a career as a caregiver for disabled or incapacitated older people such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or in persistent vegetative states. “Caring for the elderly reminds me of the time I spent with my grandparents,” she explained in a guidebook on home care services published by the Federation for the Welfare of the Elderly (FWE). “I’m so grateful to them, and actually feel deep regret that I didn’t have the opportunity to look after my grandmother.” Last year, Xu, who works for the Hsinchu Catholic Social Service Center, was named one of the nation’s top 10 home caregivers by the Taiwan Home Service Strategic Alliance (THSSA) in recognition of her two decades of tireless dedication to her job. [FULL STORY]