In January 2013, Project HOPE launched the Senior Care Program to positively improve the community-based and home-based health care for people older than 65 years of age living in the Tang Qiao Community. The Tang Qiao community is very close in proximity to the Project HOPE Shanghai office and serves to provide timely information on the implementation of a number of the initiatives that are part of this program. Almost a quarter of the community is aged over 65 years. The duration of this pilot program is two years, and it has been made possible by the support of TheBaxter International Foundation.
When Lisa Zhou, Project HOPE's Program Manager in Shanghai, and Niki Zhang, Program Officer, told me about the goals and achievements of the Senior Care Program since its launch just over six months ago, I was very interested in seeing the activities in action. And I got the chance to do so at the participatory musical exercise class for seniors on August 1, 2013 at The Tang Qiao Community Elderly Service Center.
Project HOPE aims to provide 100 sessions of these musical exercise classes to improve the physical strength and psychosocial well-being of the seniors during the pilot phase of the program. About 22 seniors participated in the music exercise session, and it didn’t even take me a minute to become involved.
The class was led by Nurse Zhao who is from Sanda University Shanghai and has qualifications in music therapy. I think these seniors could certainly challenge me in any physical duel as I was out of breath by the end of the session, and they were ready for more! As the Senior Care Program continues to be rolled out, I am sure that the positive impact of this worthwhile initiative will be felt by a number of stakeholders and the people at the center of the program, the Chinese seniors.
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