A Warmth During Winter – Helping the Elderly Live Longer and Happier
The strategy of this project is to improve the mental and physical health of the elderly. Working together with the Hondao Senior Citizen’s Welfare Foundation (HSCWF), the most well-known non-profit organization focusing on the elderly living alone or are underprivileged, a national-wide survey was conducted to find out the specific needs of the elderly.
INTRODUCTIONThe percentage of elderly population in Taiwan is expected to reach 14% by 2017, 20% by 2025 and the country will become a super-aged nation. Beginning in 2012, Pfizer Taiwan started to focus on issues affecting the aged and closely worked with local communities through a variety of community programs. During its community services, it was found that more and more senior citizens were living on their own.
In a society of aging population and low fertility, the elderly living alone or only with their spouses needed attention and help. Currently, there are roughly 50,000 senior citizens living alone in Taiwan. They are likely to encounter financial problems and health issues and thus may lack the means to take care of themselves or interact with society. As such, Pfizer Taiwan aims to provide relevant support to the senior citizens who live on their own to fulfill the corporate vision of working together for a healthier world.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYThe strategy of this project is to improve the mental and physical health of the elderly. Working together with the Hondao Senior Citizen’s Welfare Foundation (HSCWF), the most well-known non-profit organization focusing on the elderly living alone or are underprivileged, a national-wide survey was conducted to find out the specific needs of the elderly. Subsequently, all care service programs were developed based on the results of the survey.
To mobilize more people to get involved in this project, Pfizer Taiwan not only provides financial support, but encourages its employees, along with their family members, to either accompany the seniors on Chinese New Year shopping trips or visit them at their homes. In addition, Pfizer staff spent their free time volunteering, as part of the community service to bond with their elders in order to improve their social skills.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTThe project has been conducted for 3 consecutive years, where a total of 11 events involving 1,163 volunteers were implemented for 450 senior citizens who were staying on their own. Through this volunteer service, Pfizer Taiwan colleagues have the opportunity to help provide care for the seniors. Colleagues with volunteering experiences all agree that there is nothing more satisfying than chit-chatting with their elders. Seeing the smile on their faces is the true reward for these volunteers. Furthermore, “it is not just a charitable event, but an event of life itself,” says a volunteer, after spending a day with the elderly.
FUTURE DIRECTIONHealth promotion and disease prevention are important considerations in an aging society. The concept of healthy aging, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), stresses on the importance of healthy lifestyle at every age level. Pfizer, a leading pharmaceutical company dedicated to the promotion of lifelong health, will stay focused on the issue of elderly people living alone and call for public attention and concern through partnership with relevant organizations, hopefully bringing positive impact to communities with our practical actions.
The New York-based global pharmaceutical company Pfizer put down its roots in Taiwan back in 1962. Pfizer Taiwan is committed to advance wellness, prevention, treatment and cures for the most feared diseases of our time, as well collaborate with local stakeholders to improve health and well-being for every stage of life.