Caring doctor sets up Shangrila Service Centre for the elderly

Early birds registering at the centre – Lim Soh Ting (left), aged
84 years, and Tan Hui Sim, aged 88 years.

Early birds registering at the centre – Lim Soh Ting (left), aged 84 years, and Tan Hui Sim, aged 88 years.

MIRI: Like many others in their age group around the world, several folk here also live a long life, thanks to the advances in medicine, science and our economy.

But carers for the elderly, within families, are not increasing in proportion as many of them are either working elsewhere, not staying with their parents or simply do not have time for their elders.

Yet, employing a helper, maid or a nurse is increasingly difficult and expensive, as Dr Loh Yunn Hua asserted.

The doctor who runs a private clinic here noted that while there were many playschools or kindergartens for children in and around the city, there was hardly any day-care centre or home for the elderly to spend their golden years.

“These elderly people sacrificed a lot for their families and the country, but regrettably, there is no special place built for them to recognise and acknowledge their sacrifices,” Dr Loh said in an interview with The Borneo Post yesterday.

This prompted Dr Loh, with a humble intention to improve the quality of life for the elderly, to set up such a centre, though she knew it was a tough and challenging task to run one.

She did it, and it is called Shangrila Service Centre (Care and Comfort for Elderly), which is located at Lot 2842, Jee Foh Road in Krokop.

This is her pride, for it is the first of such facility in Miri.

At the centre, the elderly folk will get to know one another and make new friends, and also take part in activities such as exercise, story-telling, drawing, singing and gardening.

Sharing her story, Dr Loh said she visited a day-care centre for the elderly in Kota Kinabalu last week.

There, she observed the folk mingling happily with one another and having exercises for their joint problems and stroke recovery.

“The average life expectancy in Malaysia is 72 years for men and 78 years for women.

“So, how many more years do our elderly have? How many more years do we still have to reach that age? And can we strive to live happily above the average life expectancy?” she asked.

As such, she advised the people to value their elders and shower them with great care.

“If they are working and there is no one to look after their elders, leave them at the centre,” she said.

The Shangrila Service Centre is manned by a caring multi-lingual staff (including Mandarin-speaking ones) and trained nurses.

It provides day-care services for elders who have no carers in the daytime; temporary stay for those recovering from illnesses or whose carers are away and longer stay for those who have no carers in Miri.

To a question, Dr Loh replied: “We prefer clients who are mobile and able to take care of themselves, and no mental (psychotic) or infectious illnesses”.

Dr Loh reminded that all clients must provide a medical report from their attending doctors, and adhere to the rules and regulations as stipulated (and verbally explained) in the contract.

Meanwhile, the centre is offering a complimentary stay for elders on a trial basis for three days starting today (Oct 26).

Those who wish to register their elders may call Shangril-La Service Centre at 085-411439 or the manager Joseph Wong Kah Lung at 016-8519686 for more detailed information.