At 96 years old, Lien Chin-ting (連金廷) has become the nation’s oldest licensed caregiver.
“I am old, so I know better how to care for old people,” he said on Friday, as he demonstrated how to care for a bedridden patient.
At the encouragement of his daughter, Lien said he often attends activities at an elderly-care center in Taichung.
Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Taipei Times
However, it was not the classes that sparked his interest, but rather the work of caregiving itself, he said.
In January, he began a 97-hour course that includes 52 hours of coursework, eight hours of practical work and 30 hours of clinical practice.
After completing his courses and a written examination, he received his caregiver license last month and now volunteers at the same center that inspired his journey.
As he himself is of an advanced age, Lien said he would never charge for his services.
Lien retired at 70, but leads an active life, going on hikes, serving as a certified Taoist cleric, and taking classes in Japanese and other subjects.
“My dad has never stopped learning and exercising,” his daughter said. “He really has no issues physically.”
This new chapter is not too big of a change, as Lien cared for his wife before she died about eight years ago and often helps with his grandchildren.
He is now studying other aspects of professional caregiving, such as nutrition, and has obtained cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification, he added.
“Now I can care for others as well as myself,” he said.
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