"Blessing Evergreen Happiness School (福氣長青快樂學堂)", the first school that has been set up in the senior-citizen daycare centers in Taichung City, was inaugurated at the joint activity center of Xitun District on October 31. It is to provide the elders with daycare services Monday to Friday and such services will be gradually extended to each of the 29 districts in Taichung City. Mayor Jason Hu urged the elderly to come to class for happy learning instead of staying home every day.
Social Affairs Bureau of Taichung City Government has already set up 146 mini senior activity centers for elders aged 65 or above and has settled down 16 disabled elders at the daycare service centers in accordance with its 10-year long-term care plan. It has now moved even further to cooperate with Hondao Senior Citizen's Welfare Foundation (弘道老人福利基金會) to establish the "Blessing Evergreen Happiness School".
Social Affairs Bureau has been trying its hand on "Blessing Evergreen Happiness School" since August of this year and has already served 30 local residents of Taichung City, who are 65 years old or above and healthy enough to live independently or mildly disable but can move around easily. They are provided with such services as vitality leisure courses, catering, healthcare consulting, social resources linkage and referral, family support programs, and innovation activities every Monday to Friday for at least six hours every day.
"Our society owes the elderly too much." said Mayor Hu, “In contrast, our society has a lot to offer to the young people, like concerts, performances, childcare allowance or maternity allowance. We have been doing too little for the elderly to keep up with their needs.”
Mayor Hu said that the elderly people should not be left at home every day by their juniors; instead, they should be allowed to have a gathering place to learn something new, so that grandma and grandpa can stick together, go to school, and live happily. Happiness is contagious, added Mayor Hu.
The elderly daycare concept was proposed by City Councilor Huang Xin-hui (黃馨慧), who mentioned during a parliamentary questioning session that the daycare nurseries should admit grandfathers and grandmothers as well as their grandchildren for schooling together.
Guo Yao-dong (郭耀東), Director of Hondao Senior Citizen's Welfare Foundation, pointed out that there are many idle classrooms, which he suggested the city government open to the nurseries and daycare centers for schooling activities for the elderly and small kids as well.
Guests participating in the opening ceremony today included Mayor Hu, Wang Xiu-yan (王秀燕, Director-general of Social Affairs Bureau), Zhang Liao Wan-jian (張廖萬堅, City Councilor), Huang Xin-hui (黃馨慧, City Councilor), Liu Shi-zhou (劉士州, City Councilor), Guo Yao-dong (郭耀東, Director of Hondao Senior Citizen's Welfare Foundation), and Rotarians from Rotary Club of Taichung Central Taiwan Science Park.