We did some collection (food contribution and cash donation) and pooled in our resources. My car boot was full of groceries and adult diapers generously given by my work colleagues. And the cash donation collected was enough to buy an industrial washing machine and pay for other needs deemed fit by Kak Muji. Orang UniKL MFI memang sempoi. Sentiasa bersedia untuk membantu. And to all my friends who contributed cayalah guys! You all were super awesome. Merci beaucoup!
Background story on the lady owner of the home:
Kak Muji is the lady who is running this home.
She is a retired head nurse. A single mother with three grown-up daughters and many happy grandchildren.
There are two main reasons why she decided to run this home for the elderly:
1) There were no old folks home for Muslims only at that time.
2) Her expertise and skill as a nurse would come in very useful for geriatric care.
(Kak Muji is the one on the right, seen here holding one of her granddaughters. The tall lamp post you see on the left is, well, me.)
She was given access to an old mosque which was no longer in use due to its very poor condition. Using her own financial resources, she rebuilt and restored it by putting new tiles and plaster ceiling. She also repaired the roof. Bit y bit, she extended the mosque area by adding a few wings, to have separate sections for the men and women and a bigger space for both the cooking area and the porch. All this at her own expenses, of course.
This is the first all Muslim care center for the elderly.
There are currently 55 residents; 20 men and 35 women. They are patients sent in by hospitals all over the country as they had nobody to take care of them upon leaving the ward. Most of them are bed-ridden. She says she only takes in chronic patients, as her experience working in a hospital would be beneficial to these elderly people. Sometimes the patients sent in to her home were so ill or were still in a coma and they pass away within 2-3 days of arrival. I find it emotionally hard to witness these elderly people all put up in a home, especially the women. Each one has a different story to tell. Some have no family, some became old and forgotten, some are so-called paying for their past sins. I hope and I pray that God blesses our souls with more empathy and compassion towards our parents, for that is what is sorely needed and lacking. Nobody should grow old alone. And lonely.
Kak Muji is assisted by 13 helpers. Each one is trained for a specific skill, such as cooking, cleaning, feeding or basic nursing.
The cost to run this house is around RM30k per month. Most of the expenses would go to food, diapers, medication and salary. They go through 10 kg of rice and 15 packs of adult diapers per day. So any contribution of adult diapers and basic food supplies would be most welcome, as well as cash donations or maybe corporate sponsorships to take care of the utility bills.
We hope to make our visit here a regular one and help spread a bit of cheer to the elderly who only want to spend the last days of their lives knowing that there are still some people out there who care.