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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.

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