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Elderly Care Team's Ideas Right on the Mark

June 30, 2009

- by Mark Hemingway

Recently Steve Johnson I made our second trip to Vietnam to work on
developing and improving long term care for the elderly. The trip exceeded
our expectations. We had such great support from folks here in the U.S. who
sent toys for the orphans at SS3, lotion for the elderly there, a high
quality stethoscope for the doctor, etc. The photos we sent back of some
children receiving their first ever toys didn't do justice to the
occasion...I wish the folks who sent the two suitcases stuffed with crayons,
Frisbees, dolls, lotion, nail clipper sets, and literally dozens of other
items could have experienced the joy on the faces and felt the gratitude
Steve and I did.

We had such encouragement from co-workers, friends, family, and people from
our churches. It was really sobering to be the first Americans and/or
Christians that some people have ever met. Support and encouragement helped
us as we strived to be show love and be good examples for America and for
our profession.

The reception from the leadership at SS3 was genuinely warm and we were
greeted as friends on this trip. They are anxious to improve care to the
elderly there and seemed very willing to implement our suggestions. It
still gets me that when we donated the manual hospital beds there earlier
this year that it was a crowd drawing event. Things we take for granted are
so appreciated there.

Our meeting with DOLISA (Department of Labor Invalids and Social Affairs)
was unbelievable. It was literally like they had been prompted to want what
we had to offer. They were enthusiastic in their response to our offer to
conduct a long term care conference in the fall, actually asking for it
sooner than we can be ready. They are also open to our assistance in
working with them to develop minimum standards.

We saw troubling things as we visited facilities around the country that one
would never see here. The need in human terms is almost overwhelming... One
person mentioned to me that what we were doing didn't really make a
difference in meeting the need. My response is that it made a difference to
the ones who did receive the toys, to those who are now lying on a real
hospital bed, and to those who are receiving medicated lotion treatments.
We may never help all the elderly or orphans in Vietnam, but it makes a
difference to some. Of course, I'm counting on the Father to bring more people
into this project so that more lives can be positively affected.

We would be remiss not to mention the terrific job GVI did in making this
possible... Tan's connections and setting appointments, Huong providing
continual guidance and excellent translation for us every step of the way,
and your overall wisdom and guidance. We truly consider you guys as friends
and co-workers in this project as we work to transform long term care in
Vietnam.

 

 

 

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Glocal Ventures, Inc.
1870 Rufe Snow Dr.
Keller, TX 76248

T: 817-656-5136
F: 817-656-4671