"Dial a Lo Yau Gei 2.0" project volunteers’ showed care for seniors by phone calls
It is essential to show great concern for others during the outbreak of coronavirus disease. Many social centers are closed because of the epidemic, disconnecting the retirees with the society. Yet, the public may not understand the emotional needs of this group of elderly. Luckily, Swire Properties has noticed their needs and hence launched "Dial a Lo Yau Gei 2.0" project in cooperation with Ming Yue District Elderly Community Centre. A total of 100 households in the Eastern District with elderly living alone or with his/her spouse only were selected to join the project. 50 corporate volunteers called them at least once a week, not only to care about their health but also to find out what they need, and refer the cases to social workers when necessary.
Volunteers learnt how to show concern to seniors and find out their needs from a conversation via online training provided by the Association. Andrew who was assigned to call an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Chu, said , "I can help them relieve boredom, sometimes material, sometimes emotional. It is good to let them know someone in the society still cares about them, and love is all around." Phone calls helped to narrow the gap between their age and background difference, and to build friendship, "When I called Mr. Chu for the third time, he didn’t wanna hang up anymore."
In addition to emotion support, volunteers also mentioned skills to maintain hygiene at home, such as keeping the windows open, despite the cold weather, to ensure good air circulation, putting down the toilet lid before flushing, washing hands frequently, etc.
"If the elders have no masks left at home, if they cannot go out to shop for food, or if they urgently need to collect drug refills from hospital, the volunteers will immediately report to our social workers through communication software for follow-up," said Joan Hon, the Chief Officer (Elderly Service) of the Association. She appreciated how the volunteers approached the elderly and established a deep relationship among the participants. Lots of volunteers were uplifted by the elder's optimism, and encouraged each other to fight against the virus together, she added.