According to the 2018 census of the Taichung City Government, 12% of the population in the Wuri District are over 65 years old. Seeing to the increasing demand for long-term care service, the Taichung City Government has founded the "Care for Life Houses" at the heart of the community in 2008 to provide attentive services to the elderly living nearby.
One of these houses is called the Seeds Handmade, a gathering place for the elderly in the Wuri District established by the Tong Ting Charity Foundation. More than half of the staff are over 60 years old. The professionalism and warm attitude of the silver-haired wait staff, baristas, and bakers have made the Bakery a particular favourite among the neighbourhood. You might need to wait for a little as these senior baristas preparing your cup of coffee. Fortunately, the younger customers are patient and willing to give an opportunity for the elderly to express themselves.
With nearly a year of experience, Tong Ting states that the elderly's second career should focus on "redesigning the job duties", which stresses on isolating and rearranging the duties in a job so that they are suitable for the elderly.
"Redesigning an entire job for the silver-haired would diminish the value of the job itself, costing their competitiveness in our society. I think that dividing the jobs into several duties is the way to create values." – Mr Yu-ming Yeh, CEO of the Tong Ting Charity Foundation
What Are the Seeds Values?
The Seeds Handmade is a platform to promote the life of the local elderly people. It encourages the elderly to learn how to step out of the comfort zone and build a life after retirement. The four values to achieve the goals include:
- Revitalise learning: organise a wide range of goal-oriented and meaningful courses to teach them new skills and knowledge. This aims to inspire them to take action.
- Volunteering service: organise a volunteering team for the graduates to help with the operation of the charity foundation. This aims to build their confidence and consolidate their professional skills.
- Elderly employment: create employment opportunities for the elderly, put them in charge of the daily operation, and provide a platform for them to showcase their skills. This aims to promote a new silver-haired identity.
- Community care: combine home care, rehabilitation, communal dining and handicraft workshop. It aims to become a "companion to the retirees" and help them find purpose after retiring.