A local charity that supports people with Alzheimer’s disease can now use the private residence of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in Taipei, free of charge.
The Taiwan Alzheimer’s Disease Association opened its new office yesterday, with Chen’s son, Greater Kaohsiung Councilor Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), who made the charitable offer last year, attending the opening in his capacity as the landlord.
Because his mother, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), is paralyzed from the waist down, Chen Chih-chung said the house is accessible for -physically challenged people. The Taiwan Alzheimer’s Disease Association was chosen from more than 30 groups that filed applications to use the residence because elderly Alzheimer’s patients are likely to have similar needs, he said.
There is no limit on how long the association can use the place for free, Chen Chih-chung said, adding that the association only needs to cover the utility bills.
Those who qualify can take their Alzheimer’s-stricken family members to the residence once a week to partake in some gardening, exercising, mahjong or -singing, association secretary-general Tang Li-yu (湯麗玉) said yesterday.
“Their family members can take a break and chat with others,” she said. “This will help relieve some of the pressure they shoulder in taking care of their sick relatives.”
According to the association, there are currently 170,000 Alzheimer’s patients in Taiwan.
Chen Shui-bian was sentenced to a total of 19 years in jail for two corruption cases during his presidency. He began serving his sentences, which were combined and adjusted to 17-and-a-half years, in December.