Elderly take charge of their health

Ruperto checks the blood pressure of fellow elder Agapita.

Ruperto checks the blood pressure of fellow elder Agapita.

By Dallas Parker, communications intern at Unbound

Watching out for the health of our aging friends is extremely important to all of us here at Unbound. In partnership with Care for the Aging, a program that offers weekly blood pressure monitoring and other health care advice, 95 sponsored elderly members of our Quezon project in the Philippines obtain the medical attention they need.

Facilitators of the program in the Payatas community are not only monitoring blood pressure, but they are also teaching the elderly how to care for themselves.

Volunteer paramedics educate the elderly on how to live a healthy lifestyle and advise them on health topics such as medicines and their proper dosages.

One paramedic and the program’s main facilitator is a sponsored elderly man himself.

At 73, Ruperto is active and enjoys assisting fellow elderly individuals with their medical needs.

“I am very happy that at my age I can still do something that could help other people,” Ruperto said.

The elderly meet once a week to participate in health monitoring and other activities. There are some elderly members who are immobile and unable to commute from their homes to the activity site. In those circumstances, volunteers and a staff member visit each home to assist the elderly.

“This program is really helpful for us elderly who can’t afford to go to a medical clinic and have this kind of service for free,” said Adela, 64. “I really thank [Unbound] for giving us this one-of-a-kind opportunity.”

The program arose out of the needs, ideas and abilities of the sponsored elderly members themselves.

“It [the program] is part of their initiative to discover their potential and share their skill and knowledge with others,” said Marivic Ihap, Quezon project coordinator.

(Information and photos were provided by Tristan John Cabrera, communications liaison for Unbound in the Philippines.)

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