“The Elderly Are Not Lonely:” Building a Community Care Network
Brief summary of presentation of information made
Taiwan faces having an aged society as Taiwanese people over 65 years old account for 14 per cent of the country’s total population in 2018.
The four topics of the presentation were the building a community care network, gendered care intergeneration contract and care risk in Taiwan, keeping the elderly going well, and empowering women’s social participation through social innovation.
The first speaker Yueh-Chin Chiang presented about the Community Care Network.
- On average, women live longer than men, so the pilot project looking at middle aged women community care networks in two cites was conducted in Taiwan from July 1st – December 31st 2018. This project was to supplement the long-term care’s problems, so that the project should be localized and innovated.
- The middle-aged women who attended this project were trained as visitors to help or accompany the elderly.
- It was found that the volunteers actively provided the long-term care resources in the remote areas, so that the people in local area could make good use of other resources to alleviate the pressure of care.
- The project will be continued in 2019.
The next speaker Lih Rong Wang addressed Gendered Care Intergeneration Contract and Care Risks in Taiwan.
- In situations of long-term care, women are most often the caregivers.
- Women care for spouses, parents, parents in law, friends and neighbours, at the same time they play many roles such as hands on health provider, care manager, friend, companion, surrogate decision maker and advocate.
- Women’s caregiving responsibilities lead to women decreasing their paid work hours, pass up job promotions or training, switch their job from full time to part-time, quit or retire early.
- This becomes a key barrier to reaching women’s economic empowerment and gender equality.
The third presentation was entitled Keeping the Elderly Going Well. Hsiu-Fon Chen explained that
- 80 per cent of the elderly population are in healthy and sub-healthy conditions.
- In 2017, the elderly dependency ratio was 19 per cent, which was higher than the child dependency ratio of 18 per cent for the first time.
- Taiwan amended and promulgated the revised law “Senior Citizens Welfare Act” in 2007.
- There were activities for improving the elders to adjust their lives, accumulating social participation energy, enriching their lives and reducing their sense of loneliness.
- The community heath building plan, based on the WHO “Senior Friendly City Guide”, was launched.
The last panellist was Shu-Hua Kang reported Empowering Women’s Social Participation through Social Innovation: From coffee bean burlap bags to multidisciplinary collaboration.
- The Reeds Trust Fund to Empower Women makes efforts with Louisa Coffee, a socially responsible coffee chain in Taiwan, as well as several community organizations and product designers to refashion coffee bean burlap bags into creative products.
- This multidisciplinary collaboration creates job opportunities and social participation for women in communities.
What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?
A lot of developed countries are confronted with having aging societies. An increased number of elderly people are meaning a growing vulnerable population. Females are often taking on the role of being the care givers and consequently are missing out on paid work opportunities, promotions and having to take early retirement themselves. The Salvation Army Corps and centres can help develop community systems that encourage and train volunteers to help care for and visit elderly people in the community. Also, working with local governments or local groups to help care for the elderly or help with job creation is important.
Web links for more information
ntusw.ntu.edu.twTags: SDG1: No Poverty, SDG5: Gender Equality, SDG3: Good Health and Well-Being, SDG17: Partnerships for the Goals