Caring for the elderly is an important task in China, where many older people live far from their children and don’t have the ability to take care of themselves. The negative effects of the one-child policy are felt strongly here; adult children have to take care of their own needs, as well as their parents’. In 2017, we published a three-part post called “How to Minister to Seniors,” describing one woman’s efforts to reach out to seniors in care centers.
This article from China Christian Daily describes how a church has opened a Christian nursing home to care both physically and spiritually for local elderly people.
Faith-Based Nursing Home Runs in Fujian
A nursing home operated by a megachurch in Fujian has been providing care for the elderly and ill, with some even experiencing healing.
Run by the Tabitha volunteer service center of Beimen Church in Zhangzhou City, the Jiale Nursing Home opened in May 2021 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the church, which was established on Easter.
The church registered the volunteer service center at the Xiangcheng District Civil Affairs Bureau in March 2016, launching diversified elderly care services, such as rehabilitation care, dementia care, and hospice care.
With 1,915 believers and 1,123 catechumens, the church’s charitable activities are carried out by Reverend Huang Lihong, director of the church board, eight pastors, and two elders. These activities include organizing free clinics in rural areas, providing free medicines, and visiting orphans and widows in welfare homes and nursing homes every Spring Festival.
Located at No. 192, Neiliao Farm, Jiuhu Town, Zhangzhou City, the nursing home is more than eight kilometers away from the urban area.
Covering a construction area of 10,148 square meters (2.51 acres) and a floor area of over 5,000 square meters (1.234 acres), the nursing home consists of single rooms, double rooms, triple rooms, and five-person rooms, totaling 156 beds.
The home offers five levels of nursing care, ranging from self-care to semi-self-care (low-grade and high-end nursing care), full care, and super care, based on the residents’ preferences and physical conditions.
Through collaboration with Zhangzhou People’s Hospital, the home has professional doctors in the medical room who provide round-the-clock consultations.
Besides excellent medical services, the home also provides nutritious meals prepared by professional nutritionists, interesting games, and fitness exercises for residents.
The nursing home also accommodates many devoted Christians and spiritual seekers, who are regularly visited by Pastor Huang, who listens to their suggestions. One resident, Ms. Gan, a 95-year-old mother of an international pianist, is particularly enthusiastic about singing hymns with Pastor Huang. As a token of her gratitude, Ms. Gan asked her family to present a silk banner to the home.
After several months of care and physical conditioning by the nursing home staff, Ms. Lin, an 82-year-old individual who was transferred from the intensive care unit of a hospital, has progressed from being a semi-self-care resident to practicing full self-care.
Another resident, a skilled man with experience in mountain excavation and road construction, unfortunately, suffered a stroke and subsequent illness. Upon arrival at the nursing home, he was unable to feed himself. However, after receiving acupuncture and physical therapy from the home’s medical staff, he has made significant strides in his recovery and can now feed himself while continuing to receive medical care.
This nursing home represents the first institution established by the Zhangzhou church to provide care for the elderly.
Original article: “Faith-Based Nursing Home Runs in Fujian,” China Christian Daily.
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