Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and Pingtung County Commissioner Pan Men-an (潘孟安) yesterday announced the opening of the Oluanpi Day Care and LOHAS Center in Pingtung.
Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), attended the opening with top health officials on the second morning of his two-day trip to Pingtung’s Kenting (墾丁) to promote domestic travel while practicing the CECC’s “new disease prevention lifestyle.”
The officials were greeted by locals playing the yueqin (月琴, moon lute) while 86-year-old Hengchun folk song master Chen Ying (陳英) sang a song in her unique husky voice.
Photo: Tsai Tsung-hsien, Taipei Times
She incorporated a line into the song to remind people to wash their hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The two-story day care center for elderly people at the southern tip of the Hengchun Peninsula (恆春半島) offers a spectacular sea view, Pan said.
The building used to be a police station and its reconstruction was funded by the government’s Long-term Care 2.0 program, he said.
According to the Pingtung County Department of Social Affairs, elderly people account for 17.5 percent of the county’s population, and the aging population is an especially serious issue in the Hengchun Peninsula and Manjhou Township (滿州).
Pingtung County has set a goal of establishing at least “one senior community care center per village” or “one day care center per township,” Pan said, adding that there are 359 community care centers in the county, covering 77.54 percent of the villages, the highest density in the nation.
The coverage rate of day care centers is 63.64 percent, with day care centers established in 21 of the county’s 33 townships, he said.
The Oluanpi Day Care and LOHAS Center is the 31st day care center in the county, he said, adding that the coverage rate would reach 82 percent by the end of the year, and the goal of “one day care center per township” is expected to be accomplished next year.
Pan gave Chen and each of the health officials a moon lute with their face and a poem carved on it.
Chen said that in addition to disease prevention with a Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) mindset, long-term care and domestic travel are important, allowing people to be healthy physically and mentally.
It was relaxing to enjoy the beautiful ocean view and rich ecological environment at the Oluanpi Day Care and LOHAS Center, Chen said, adding that he would like to bring his wife, who loves plants, to the area someday.
The health officials visited elderly people at the center, who demonstrated tabletop games and how they use exercise equipment to strengthen their muscles. They also tasted mango ice-cream made by residents.
Chen said that for people to have a LOHAS mindset, they should remember to perform social distancing, wear a mask if the proper distance cannot be kept, keep good personal hygiene and avoid crowded areas when feeling ill.
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