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Home Sections Health and Medicine Ben Sirah Tells Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients 2,200 Years Ago and the World Can Learn from Filipino Caregivers How to Take Care of Elders
Ben Sirah Tells Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients 2,200 Years Ago and the World Can Learn from Filipino Caregivers How to Take Care of Elders PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Health and Medicine
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Sunday, 26 December 2010 11:52


Remember the Articles Alzheimer's May Prove Deadlier than Al Qaeda and Many Filipinos Suffer from Amnesia and Alzheimer's Pandemic Diseases? (“Psyche” Series’ Part7)?

 

O son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; (13) even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance; in all your strength do not despise him. (14) For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, and against your sins it will be credited to you … – Sirach 3:12-14

 

T oday, the day after Christmas 2010, the First Reading during masses in Catholic churches all over the world tells about the writings of Ben Sirah (spelled also as Sirach).

 

Ben Sirah was a Jewish scribe who lived in Jerusalem and who might have authored the work in Alexandria, Egypt, circa 180–175 BC, where he is thought to have established a school.[3] To read more about him, please go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirach 

 

Here are the other passages in the First Reading that were written about two centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ:

 

Sirach 3: 2-7: “For the Lord honored the father above the children, and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons. (3) Whoever honors his father atones for sins, (4) and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure. (5) Whoever honors his father will be gladdened by his own children, and when he prays he will be heard. (6) Whoever glorifies his father will have long life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother; (7) he will serve his parents as his masters.”

 

In the article Alzheimer May Prove Deadlier than Al Qaeda  I wrote in July 2007: “There is no doubt that there is need to combat international terrorism. But the Baby-Boom generation and aging population of the United States probably fear Alzheimer and other debilitating illnesses more than the Al-Qaeda terrorists. While the United States is spending more-than $12-billion (spelled with a B) per month in fighting the Al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq alone, the Medicare system for the senior citizens is getting financially shaky. Without a drastic overhaul of the Medicare, the healthcare and Social-Security systems and possibly increased taxes to pay for the Medicare reforms, senior citizens—especially persons who qualify for supplementary income on account of disability—may find themselves without the basic healthcare infrastructure and support. And it is tragic for the world’s richest country to have the worst socialized healthcare for the aged and infirm among the industrialized countries.”

 

In Many Filipinos Suffer from Amnesia and Alzheimer Pandemic Diseases? (“Psyche” Series’ Part7)  I wrote in November 2007: “It appears that many Filipinos, especially their political leaders, and Overseas Filipinos – even if they are not yet ‘Baby Boomers’ and/or senior citizens – are suffering from pandemic-like amnesia and/or the Alzheimer disease.”

 

It is even possible that on a per-capita basis, there are more Filipinos that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease than Americans do. But insofar as taking care of their elders, the Philippines faces fewer problems in spite of almost-zero government budget for Medicare and senior care.

 

O ne of the big differences between the peoples (in general) of the United States and the Philippines is the way folks take care of the elders. People in the Philippines do not have similar programs like Medicare, hospice care and assisted-living facilities as found in the United States. Filipinos – and even majority of the folks in the Filipino-American communities – take better care of their elders, especially those who are senile and/or who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease – without government funding or subsidy. Why? Because the Christian religion that the Spaniards introduced to the Filipinos some 450 years ago had been tutoring Filipinos about the teachings of Ben Sirah and other Biblical preachers.

 

Besides, as then Filipino Fourth Estate’s dean and doyen Max V. Soliven wrote several years before he died, “It is better to be poor in a poor country than be poor in a rich country.”

 

The Emerging Filipino Dominance of the American Board-and-care Industry

 

F ilipino Americans and Filipino contract workers are said to be the preferred workers now of major senior-care corporations. Many Filipino Americans are now even operators and/or proprietors of small board-and-care facilities. Why? It seems that Filipino immigrants to the United States have the in-born “TLC” gene as part of their DNA. TLC, as in “tender-loving care.” While some Filipino-American operators of nursing homes and/or healthcare workers have run afoul of the law, the over-whelming majority of them take care of their patients not just for the lucrative income but also for the joy of practicing their Christian heritage.

 

A Filipino-American caregiver explained it to this writer: “It is not only the salary of $15 per hour that the agency pays me but I am doing it also for my late father. I could not go home to the Philippines when my father had his fatal illness. My failure to take care of my Dad at his deathbed made me so sad. Now, I see in the faces of the American elderly patients under my care the image of my father. I take care of them as if I was ministering to my Dad and I derive so much emotional satisfaction in serving my patients.”

 

Perhaps Ben Sirah had the same Filipino “TLC” gene in his DNA.

 

Perhaps the whole world should learn the care-giving art and passion from Filipino nurses, nursing-home employees and medical personnel. # # #

 

 



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Last Updated on Sunday, 30 December 2012 18:06
 

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