The Taipei-based Federation for the Welfare of the Elderly (FWE) kicked off a new drive Tuesday to collect daily necessities for elderly people in need across Taiwan.
Through cooperation with social workers in 19 communities across the country, a total of 1,021 elderly citizens have applied under the program for daily life items that they need, with the eldest applicant being 106 years old, the federation said.
Among these elderly applicants, 308 expressed their desire for milk power, oatmeal and cooking oil, while 107 said they want diapers and other sanitary wear, it said. Some 118 said they need clothes and comforters, and 355 said they need home appliances such as electric cooking utensils, electric fans and blood pressure gauges.
However, one elderly applicant said he only needs the official trash bags required for garbage collection in Taipei, according to the federation.
There are about 2.9 million people aged over 65 in Taiwan, 46,000 -- some 20,000 males and 26,000 females -- of whom live alone, with 11,000 of them listed as lower middle income earners.
A 75-year-old grandpa surnamed Liao is one of them.
A divorcee, Liao has no children or relatives and lives alone in one room in an old basement in Taipei's Zhongzheng District. There are 13 elderly residents living in that basement, sharing just two restrooms. They take care of themselves and each other, and their only friend is the ward chief who visits them sometimes.
After paying the rent, Liao has only NT$3,000 (US$93) to make ends meet each month. Poor as a church mouse, he often has only NT$10 to spend for dinner.
FWE Secretary-General S.H. Wu (???) said that over the past 11 years, the federation has assisted 10,763 elderly people like Liao by helping them to get what they need for their everyday lives.
This year, they will continue to help 1,021 elderly people living alone who have made lists of what they need, Wu said, urging the public to support the cause of the program by donating items to serve the country's seniors.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel