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Thursday, July 14, 2011

CARING FOR THE ELDERLY: the how and why it started...

On Sunday (10th of July 2011 - it was my husband's birthday) I visited a private care home for the elderly in Puchong, Selangor. This visit was organised by the surau Al-Umm committee members in Sg Ramal Dalam, Kajang, Selangor. Apart from exposing and giving awareness to it’s members about the reality of care of the elderly, the visit was meant to also remind us not to forget about our own parents. Thoughtfully, some of the members brought their children along, hoping to instill in them the teaching of respecting the elders.

This private home is owned by a very dedicated and inspiring lady by the name of Mrs M. She has worked as a nurse for many years. Currently she is working as a sister in one of the Hospital in Selangor. The home was opened in 2003 and untill the day we visited, she has cared for almost 100 elderly. About 60 has passed away and currently there are about 29 females and 20 male residents. Their age ranges from 60 to 100.

When asked what made her do all these, she said two reasons: “As a sister in a hospital I came across many cases of elderly being abandoned by relatives and secondly I have always dreamed of managing a home for the elderly muslim – because in Malaysia such home is very scanty”.

The home was actually an old mosque, left behind – probably a new one was built in that area then. She was given the place after she proposed to start the home. Apart from her own money, she did obtained financial help from several resources to modify it. Now it turn out to be a rather well managed home for the elderly. She has about seven workers.

During the early part of the journey, Mrs M suffered from a stage IV breast cancer. She had had mastectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. But it was a real miracle – she overcome all that and now she is healthy, still working and looking after the elderly. My comment to her that it was a blessing because of her strong determination to care for the elderly. She said, “after completing the treatment, I went for umrah, and prayed to Allah swt to give me good health so that I would be able to care for the elderly”.

And today, the existence of the home name “Rumah Jagaan & Rawatan Orang Tua AL-Ikhlas” – reflect her strong dedication and determination, of course with blessing from Allah swt.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Elderly in the Al-Quran...

I am not a religious teacher to interpret the verses of Allah swt from the Al-Quran. But I would like to share some of what I have extracted from the Al-Quran for us to think and reflect on our daily lives... regarding respecting parents...
And We have enjoined man to do good to his parents – his mother bears him with pain, and brings him forth with pain, and his bearing and weaning takes thirty months: until when he reaches the age of strength and reaches the age of fourty, he says: My Lord! Grant me that I may give thanks for the favour which You bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous deeds which may please You, can be gracious to me with regards to my offspring; surely I turn to You and I am of those who submit (in Islam) (Surah Al-Ahqaf: 15)
Say: Come, I will recite to you what my Lord has forbidden to you: that you associate not anything as partner with Him. And (He orders you) doing good to your parents, and you kill not your children for fear of poverty” – We provide provisions for you and for them also – “And you come not near to indecencies whether it is open or hidden, and that you kill not any person whom Allah has forbidden you to kill, except by way of justice.” This He has commanded you, that you may understand. (Surah Al-An’am: 151)
...what more if they are elderly parents. Like it or not we will one day come to this stage.

Allah is He Who created you from a weak state, and then after the weak state, He gave you strength, and then after the strength, He gave you weakness and grey hair. He creates what He likes for He is the All-Knowing, and All-Powerful (Surah Al-Rum: 54).
And your Lord has ruled that you worship none but Him alone, and that you do good to your parents. If one or both of them reach old age while you are alive, then say not to them a word of disrespect, or scold them, but say a generous word to them. And act humbly to them in mercy, and say, ‘My Lord, have mercy on them, since they cared for me when I was small.” (Surah Al-Isra’: 23-24).
He (Zakariyya) said, “My Lord! Surely my bones are weakened, and grey hair has spread on my head, and my Lord! Never has my prayer unto You remained unanswered. (Surah Maryam: 4).
And whomsoever We cause to live long, We reverse him in creation. Do they not understand? (Surah Yaasin: 68).

And Allah creates you, then He causes you to die, and some of you are caused to be returned to a feeble age, so that after knowing somewhat, he may know nothing. Surely Allah is Knowing, Powerful (Surah Al-Nahl: 70).
So dear friends, be thankful to our parents whether they are still alive or has left us. Respect the elderly. Before reaching this stage, love and treat your children and family members because of Allah, insyaAllah you will be well treated at old age.