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A Memorable Deepavali with Monash University Malaysia

January 9, 2017 -

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It was Deepavali – a festival celebrated by the Hindus for triumph of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. The sun stood like a dignified emperor at his rightful place at the zenith with its complementing regalia of iridescent rays of light. My team and I were headed to Rawang Noble Care for a project which dealt with the elderly to comprehend their understanding and acceptance on technology. The project was served a significant purpose for societal growth as it was used for future development of technology intended for the elderly with declining health. It consisted of two predominant parts – a questionnaire and an interview on which both is related with testing out our home-device.

Prior to the visit, my feeling spun around like a whirlwind as I had little experience dealing with people of these age groups. Upon arrival, fear enveloped me like an infant in its arms. Absolutely petrified, I stood there stagnant with trains of thoughts and worry that I would do more harm than good. What happened next could only be described as the deliverance by gracious angel. It was the unsung heroes – the staff of the home, whom began thawing my frozen self by offering the warmest hospitality. Their actions were as swift as the coursing river and with the elegance of delicate swan. They offered us a drink and got us settle down almost instantly. Their experience and compassion have left me incredibly stunned as they gently held the hands of the folks, tucked the stray hairs of theirs at the back of their ears and spoke to them with the softest tone while nodding their heads understandingly as they explained our purpose of the day; just like a mother comforting her frightened child in the wee hours of the night.

The project continued on smoothly with the assistance of the staff members. During the interview sessions, we were able to take a have a stroll through memory lane with the old folks. They shared with us – their fondest memories and most bitter experience, with intentions to aid in our research. In one of our sessions, our interviewee was shaken by a question in the survey and started snivelling, as it reminded her of her declining health. However, she soon recollected herself after listening to the warm words of comfort from our team and also the staff members, and remained calm and chatty throughout the remaining session.

This experience had left me with an epiphany that the tending to the elderly is an extremely tedious task which may leave an inexperienced (myself) stunned, and I began truly understand the words of the honourable Florence Nightingale,’ I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel.’ The way the members of the home treated the elderly with respect and compassion, warmed my heart and reminded me of the true meaning of unconditional love. Kudos to all the staff whom have demonstrated such high quality of service. Noble Care Malaysia, you have my upmost respect.

Originally published at: 26 Dec, 2014

Written by: Ms. Natalie Ong Xi Men, Monash University Malaysia

Research team members: Dr. Pei-Lee Teh, Ms. Cherish Voo Wen Yee, Ms. Natalie Ong Xi Men, Mr. Jayden Liew Yee Jin, and Ms. Wong Poh Teng from Monash University Malaysia

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