Minister Lee visits Hakka senior care station in Yunlin

Accompanied Yunlin County Deputy Magistrate Hsieh Shu-ya (謝淑亞), lawmaker Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國), county officials, and councilors, Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) Minister Lee Yung-de visited a Hakka senior care station at Luocuo Community (羅厝社區) in Lunbei Township of Yunlin County on Oct. 6.

Minister Lee visits Hakka senior care station in Yunlin-1

At the senior care station, Minister Lee attended an opening party of a joint arts exhibition that was launched by the community to showcase 209 artworks created by the elderly, including ink paintings, pastel paintings, crayon drawings, calligraphy, and handicrafts. These amazing creations not only display the vitality of these senior citizens, but also underscore the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Minister Lee visits Hakka senior care station in Yunlin-2

In his statement, Lee said that, under President Tsai Ing-wen’s leadership, HAC has constructed mobile healthcare networks and elderly care centers in Hakka settlements. Such attempts to improve medical access in rural Hakka areas are also providing older adults with efficient healthcare services and opening up more job opportunities for local youths.

Collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Welfare, HAC launched the “Bagong Care Station (伯公照護站)” program for the elderly in Hakka villages across Taiwan in 2017, and the number of Bagong care stations has steadily increased from 35 to 153 today, added Lee.

Lee noted that Lunbei Township is the foremost key development area of Hakka culture in Yunlin County and the sole host of a “Bagong Care Station” in that region. He added that people aged 65 or older comprise 21 percent of the Lunbei population, which led to the establishment of the Hakka senior care station.

To ensure that the elders in Hakka villages will obtain good care from the government, HAC’s subsidization for the care station program encompasses subvention and health services. The subsidies cover the expenses of constructing an environment that reflects Hakka heritage, paying caretakers who are fluent in the Hakka language, and organizing Hakka cultural activities fees. Additional medical services include medicine delivery and mobile or home examination opportunities.

In addition to taking care of Hakka elders, HAC also welcomes non-Hakka villages to join the “Bagong Care Station” program and encourages local governments to set up senior care stations in rural and remote areas to help seniors in Taiwan live healthier and happier lives.