To care for the elderly, the first Elder Academy in Xinshe District has been open to the public since March 12. Mayor Lin Chia-lung praised Xinshe as a paradise and believed that senior citizens can learn and lead a happy and healthy life there. He also said that the city government would strive to combine daycare and meal services for the elders and set up four more senior citizen centers before the end of this year.
The Xinshe District Elder Academy made its debut on March 12. Cutting the ribbon for the Academy were Mayor Lin, Director-general Lue Jen-der (呂建德) of Social Affairs Bureau, Executive Officer Liao Su-ling (廖素玲), Chief Liu Meng-fu (劉孟富) of Xinshe District, and Director Chen Wu-kang (陳武康) of Dongshih Police Precinct. Witnessing at the ceremony were Johan Tidemann Johansen (尤約翰), founder of the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church Taiwan (財團法人中華基督教福音信義傳道會) and its chairperson You Bao-zhen (尤寶珍).
"Xinshe is a paradise," said Mayor Lin. “Its air is so fresh and vibrant that it is a good place for senior citizens to live, but Xinshe has a serious population aging problem. The older population accounts for 16% of the total population in this rural district. It is the second highest degree of aging in Taichung region but lacks daycare service resources because of its remoteness.”
“The Elderly Cultural and Recreational Activity Center has been rarely used for quite some time,” Mayor Lin pointed out, “We have thus repair edit, obtained the building use permit for it, and asked the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church Taiwan to help set up the Elder Academy on its first floor.I would like to thank my colleagues at the Social Affairs Bureau for having done all of these tasks within one month and also thank the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church for its assistance.Our elders now have a nice place to learn and to rest happily.”
“I have decided to push out not only the ‘end-to-end daycare policy for kids’ but also the daycare and meal services for the elderly. After this Xinshe District Elder Academy, I will add four senior citizen centers before the year end.” Mayor Lin said, “I hope our senior citizens can play chess, sing songs, and learn something new in this Academy. If our senior citizens can lead a healthy and happy life, every family will be happy and the whole community will be happy. A virtuous cycle will start from there.”
Johan Tidemann Johansen, who has been living in Taiwan for 50 years, said, “Love is an indispensable element of life. I see the Taichung City Government has put in a lot of efforts to take care of the elderly. Xinshe is the most beautiful place in Taiwan. I believe senior citizens will have a happy and healthy life in this Academy.”
Fitting into the local pastoral environment and equipped with horticultural designs and outdoor recreational sports facilities, the Elder Academy is open to the elders at least six hours a day and five days a week. Senior citizens can drink tea in the open space, learn something new and be taken care of on the first floor. The second floor is now reserved for daycare services for the elderly that are expected to begin in the middle of 2015. It is hoped that the services can help reduce the energy loss rate for senior citizens while creating a friendly environment for them, said the Social Affairs Bureau.