A Srikandi (STF) Batch 2000 CSR project Pertubuhan Kebajikan Pusat Sri Mesra Ampang

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This old folks home was established first in 2013 at Taman Seri Gombak and later on moved to Ampang in 2015. There are 15 ladies here – all of them have never been married and have no close relatives to bring them home and take care of them. Most have no serious chronic illness. The centre focuses on being as independent as they can and providing public education towards caring for the elderly. The home also takes in 5 Warga Perlindungan (asnaf, single parents) who they train to care for the residents in the house. In return, they have a roof on their head and means to continue their daily lives especially if they have dependents under them.

The owner, Puan Faezah was previously a Palliative Care nurse who once worked with Hospice Malaysia. Armed with her experience, she not only wants to care for the elderly but also wishes to impart her knowledge to the public regarding the geriatric population. She looks forward to visits from individuals and groups to come see her home. She conducts talks on Communication Skills with The Elderly, End of life care, conducts family conference and many more. She herself, is hungry, to learn more, not only to update her already vast skills but also things like social media so she could get the word out more for her organization.

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For this short programme, we invited 3 masseuse to come by and give the residents a shoulder & foot rub, we had a short session to just get to know more about the home, and later a mini lunch to end our day. It was a short 3 hour affair.

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Take away points;

  1. With age, our 5 senses that we usually take for granted will slowly decline in function. Our eyes, ears, our speech , our cognitive function.. and this will certainly affect how we live and interact in our daily lives. So we try to be prepared for old age. 20190629_113216-014612573928237638829.jpeg
  2. We are all agents of change. Being an SK (Srikandi), the label should be a catalyst for us to not only make our lives and our families at their best but also serve the community in whatever capacity that you can.
  3. LOVE can be the magic potion in rehabilitation. Just like Wan. She came to the old folks home bed bound requiring a feeding tube. With time, she gained energy and Will, so much so that her Ryles tube managed to be removed and now she can sit up  and ambulate with her Zimmer frame independently.
  4. To care for someone, we need to get to know that person well for the most optimum care. Everyone has different needs. And we need to match these requirements with the correct knowledge and skills in handling them.
  5. Getting into a fight (even among the elderly) is inevitable. This friction can cause conflict in the home thus has to be addressed accordingly. Puan Faezah interestingly mentioned that these elderly ladies needs to be reminded from time to time, just like a kid, to be on their best behaviour when visitors come. Quarrels also occur simply because they have lost their hearing hence a communication breakdown.
  6. CHARITY – To help those in need, we need to start with ourselves. It is best to make sure that we are first ‘full’, happy and enough. And then, our close family is too enough. Meaning they have our attention, our love.. in other words, their basic needs to function as a family member is met. Only then, we are in a way Ready and Equipped to help those who are less fortunate.
  7. CHARITY work is evolving. It’s not just about receiving funds and giving basic care. Now, we are heading towards educating the public, empowering the less fortunate to be confident in themselves so they could communicate with everybody else.
  8. Not all elderly folks are SENILE. Some, has mental faculties which are still sharp. However, once their cognitive function deteriorates, they behave just like a baby.
  9. It’s not cheap to care for an elderly person. 
  10. Social Media is vital nowadays to spread the news. So more people could help them. The home wants us to share the message that [1] if your niyat is right, it doesn’t matter if the home has only 1 resident – you would still want to help. [2] Not all Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) approved homes are financially stable, they still need a lot of support, especially funding when operating the place.

 

For this programme, I was in charge of the goodie bags. I have to admit, there were certain things in the bag which were inappropriate. At such an age, in Malaysia, it is less of wanting to sit down and read a book or magazine. For to them, in this home, it is more to fulfill the basic needs in life. Being able to just stay awake for a few hours before sleeping almost all the time. They just want to hold someones hand, or being cuddled, talk to someone, sing, bath independently, put on their clothes on their own, eat and rest comfortably.

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In the bag there is a pair of kaftan for sleeping, foot patch, hand cream, a roll-on perfume, a digital tasbih, some reading materials and a carton of drink. In retrospective, perhaps the ones that they could benefit most were the kaftan, foot patch and hand cream. The drinks, Puan Faezah said they will collect and share them during mealtimes as poor coordination could result in spills in the room which later attracts ants.

Now I know better.

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Over the years, ever since the home was established, 15 elderly ladies has passed away due to old age. Each death leaves a void in their heart. InsyaAllah, for all of them, a good ending and will earn a place in Jannah.

So, if you are in Ampang and you want to extend help, Pusat Jagaan Sri Mesra is there to welcome you with open arms.

Family Day 2019. Not just a colleague.

I was part of the team to organize our clinics family day. It was recently held at Pantai Puteri Melaka on the 6th of April 2019. We had a great time despite the initial hurdles but it was an astounding learning curve for myself when it comes to managing an event.

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Pre-event

1. We cannot please everybody. We held a balloting system where staff can vote for the events that they would have the highest possibility of joining. It was a choice between going to the beach. a masquerade dinner party, a trip to Singapore and a vacation at Sunway Lagoon. The beach activity won with a majority of 50 votes.

2. Malaysians are very selective in choosing what to spend their money on. Frugal would be a kinder description.  They seek fun activities but is only willing to part with as little money as possible. We ended up charging a family  for RM50 . Therefore if someone comes alone, he or she will be charged RM50 and if let’s say a family decides to bring like all 7 children  with them it was still be RM50.

3. Sponsorship is vital if you want that little extra. We had a few people bringing cakes, drinking water. I personally assembled the kids swag bags which included the farmfresh kurma milk carton, a piece of chocolate, a bubble toy and a fan.

During event

1. It is a very important to identify the master of coordination. Technically that would be someone who would be a few steps in front of the lot. The one who could predict and manage the future accordingly. This will ensure the smooth flow of the event. We did not really identify one so we had problems during the prize giving ceremony.

2. Respect and try to fulfill the objectives of having a family day . It would be a shame to just sit with your usual cliques and not open to making new friendship. It is an opportunity to ask that man or woman behind the registrations desk, or those hiding in the lab about their hobbies, families and what not.

3. Remember the young and the frail. Some people would bring their elderly parents. Others may bring their very little munchkins. Hence it is thoughtful to provide activities for these special group of people who may not be able to participate in the usual Sukaneka.

Post event

1. To always remember my thank you and words of encouragement to those who participated and make things happen. Hard work, grit and enthusiasm must be acknowledged so that these people would not stay away from volunteering and that they will be happy to continue contributing.

2. A postmortem so that we could locate problems and address them accordingly for better planning in the future.

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This time we had one month to prepare. I was honored to be given the task to find goodies worth RM 10 for our staff. I chose this really cute wrap around towel from Shopee and had it delivered to my brother. I then took it onto myself to take care of the embroidery bill. Furthermore, we had a really low budget.

PERSONAL GAINS

What I personally gained from the experience was to be able to see my colleagues as someone else behind the uniform and the title that they have. It is because at work, a gardener may just be a gardener, but once we’ve met their families, trust me, you would have a different perception of their existence. When you see someone as a grandfather  to somebody instead of just the driver (for example) – you would kind of treat them more compassionately. InsyaAllah.

I am also more careful in trusting a negatively vibed story. Eventhough I put on my listening face, I know better to only take in these news/gossip with a pinch of salt. Throughout my weeks involved in this project, I find that there are a lot of hearsays and once you actually take the extra mile to confirm the story – you find that the negative aspect of it is not that bad. Sometimes it is just a matter of communication/ interpretation.

Finally, I learnt that as an adult, you could still forge new relationships. Make new friends. Adopt new kids. lol. And care for any stranger like a loved one.

 

Good Things : Mini Sejadah

All of my (hopefully perceived) as good intentions and amal are inspired by this hadith

Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that Allaah’s Messenger (SAAW) said: “When a human being dies, all of his deeds are terminated except for three types: an ongoing sadaqah, a knowledge from which others benefit, and a righteous child who makes du’aa for him.” (Muslim and others)

As one who works in the civil service, I am entitled to an allowance called Elaun Keraian. I never quite understood the function of having this special allowance – so I asked my father who was also in the service. He mentioned that the idea of having such allowance is so we could ‘celebrate’ guests or clients to reinforce or forge new work relationships.

Thing is.. I am in a service that provides service to people. Meaning I don’t get in touch with potential clients or so. I see patients, not customers or buyers. I work in a team to provide service to the patients.

And it was only later that I realized how I could use my Elaun Keraian to good use thus keeping the amanah that have been entrusted to myself.  It was very simple but can be rewarding I must say. That is meraikan staf-staf sokongan dan teman sekerja. And being the typical Malaysians that we are – we love food. Hence an occasional cake, makan-makan, extra dough for the pantry’s fund or a farewell party, tidbits for the graveyard shift et cetera is very welcoming to the team. Simple rite?

And recently I had the opportunity to contribute for a small event we’re holding within the organization. I bought these Mini Sejadah (prayer mat) for the goodie bag! I feel so excited that Mydin is also giving discounts when you purchase in bulk. Hence I manage to save MYR98 for a total of 70 sejadah! 

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Thank you Mydin for making Charity-Doing seems so easy..