Elderly Tibetans get taste of the good life in Gansu care ho
时间:2022-01-14 08:41来源:未知 作者:-1 点击:145


Elderly Tibetans get taste of the good life in Gansu care homes

  With rain hammering the hills, autumn days in Xiahe county, Northwest Chinas Gansu province, were delightfully cool, as Kunchok Tsering, 73, took a sip of piping-hot milk tea to stay warm while playing chess in his room.

  All my life I have lived alone, but now I am in this new house and have a large family, he says.

  By new house he is referring to a welfare center in the county, located in Gannan Tibet autonomous prefecture, Gansu, which is 2 kilometers away from Labrang Monastery, one of the largest temples of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Kunchok Tsering lives in the welfare center with 27 other elderly people, most of whom are Tibetans.

  Before moving to the welfare center, Kunchok Tsering used to herd cattle for a living. Life on the pasture was hard and lonely, and he seldom had anyone to talk to.

  Traditionally, many Tibetans lead a nomadic life. When they grow old, life becomes tough since they are too old to work and usually live in deprived areas or impoverished circumstances.

  In 2004, Kunchok Tsering filed an application to move to the welfare center. He now lives in a 30-square-meter room with an attached bathroom and has all basic necessities. A device has been placed at the bedside through which he can call care workers whenever he is in need.

  China attaches great importance to taking care of elderly people, as the size of the countrys graying population continues to increase rapidly. Nursing homes have been built to provide accommodation and care for the elderly.

  Gannan has built 59 nursing institutions and 320 rural nursing homes to offer diversified services for the aged, with a total of 250 million yuan ($38.8 million) spent on such projects.

  We have hired three nursing graduates for professional services, says Kalbsang, head of the welfare center, adding that it has forged cooperations with local healthcare centers for the provision of medical services as well as periodic physical examinations for the aged residents.

  For Lhamo Kyi, a 23-year-old care worker who started at the welfare center last year following her graduation, the residents are like family.

  I get along with them quite well. I treat them with patience and love, and take care of them like my own grandparents, she says.

  Tenzin Tso, 82, relaxes in a massage chair. In 2019, she was diagnosed with severe cataracts, and the centers staff have helped her undergo an operation to ease the ailment.

  Tenzin Tso still gets help with her bib at lunchtime. She takes a piece of meat and puts it in her mouth, and gives the carer a thumbs-up to show her admiration for the cook.

  After living on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau for several years, elderly Tibetans form a unique dietary habit. They love meat and dairy products more than vegetables and fruits. The canteen menu offers a choice of balanced and nutritious foods while complying with their eating traditions.

  Choezom, 75, says that one of the most important reasons he chose to live in the welfare center in Xiahe is that Labrang Monastery is nearby and he can visit it. It takes me 20 minutes to walk there. I usually go there to offer prayers every fortnight.

  Wang Xuezhi, deputy director of Xiahe Civil Affairs Bureau, says that the center is equipped with a chess room, a gym and a library, and the staff also organize various activities and short trips to enrich the lives of the residents.

  The booming nursing services give elderly Tibetans more choice in terms of where they want to spend the rest of their lives, Wang says.


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