Nirvana Asia Group & New Era University College

Launching of elderly care courses

Course to commence in May

Co-organiser: Nirvana Asia Group, Sin Chew Daily, New Era University College

Jointly initiated by Nirvana Asia Group, Sin Chew Daily and New Era University College’s Institute of Aging and Professional Care (INSTAPROC), the “Honouring the elderly as we do our own aged parents” campaign has been launched. Its first project is the “KAIGO Professional Caregiver Course”, which serves to plant the seeds of the family caregiver programme through Nirvana Asia Group’s agencies.

Through this course, they can learn more about home care and pass on the skills and knowledge they have learned in the process of caring for the elder to families in need, thus raising public awareness and concern for caring for the elderly.

Assoc. Prof. Edward Foo: Acquire professional elderly caregiving skills

Associate Professor Edward Foo Loke Min, the director of INSTAPROC, pointed out the reason for introducing this course is that many families did not know how to take care of the elderly in their homes. Even if it is a simple gesture of support, not knowing the right method could bring a series of problems, such as hurting or injuring the elderly. That makes them resentful, causing them to become agitated and short tempered.

In addition to bringing discomfort to the elderly, the family will also be distressed. When caregivers see their family members getting old, they want to take care of them but find that they have not learned the skills to do so. Instead, they may cause injuries that bring about family problems.

Foo delivered a speech at the signing ceremony of the “first KAIGO Caregiver Professional Certificate in Malaysia” and said, “Japan has entered an ageing society as early as 40 years ago, and it has more experience in elderly care than us. The concept of KAIGO elderly care is introduced into Malaysia to prepare the country, which is about to enter an ageing society.”

The representatives present for the signing ceremony were New Era University College Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Development) Prof. Lee Kam Hing, and Nirvana Memorial Park (Malaysia Central Region) Sales and Marketing Chief Executive Officer Datin Lee Jye Chyi. Other attendees included New Era University College Department of Guidance and Counselling Psychology Head of Department, Dr. Keh Foo Bee, and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Dean, Dr. Ng Yean Leng, Nirvana Memorial Park (Malaysia Central Region) Agency Training General Manager, Choong Wai Cheong, and Marketing Department Deputy General Manager Jesslyn Piong, Sin Chew Daily Deputy Executive Editor-in-Chief, Chen Yoke Lim, and Department of Education and Culture Senior Reporter, River Teh.

Integrating elderly care into higher education

According to Foo, in order to bring the KAIGO concept to Malaysia, INSTAPROC collaborated with the Malaysian Association for Social Care Professionals and Homes (MASOC CARE) and visited several training institutions in Japan. They also received support from both governments in order to bring this course back to Malaysia.

He stated that in order to meet the local conditions, MASOC CARE localized the course, while INSTAPROC was responsible for integrating the course into higher education.

Although the course has been improved, he said it requires the cooperation of businesses to convey the importance of an ageing society and elderly care awareness to society. This ultimately led to a cooperation with Nirvana Asia Group, allowing the group’s agents to become the first students of the KAIGO Caregiver Professional Certificate.

Course for Nirvana Asia’s agents to be opened to the public in the future

Foo revealed that the course is expected to begin on 13 May and will last for 6 months. The first batch of courses is a collaboration with Nirvana Asia, so only the group’s agents are allowed to participate. It may be opened to the public in the future.

“Nirvana Asia Group’s agents and service team provide services to many families throughout the country, especially in Chinese households,” he explained, “Once they learn the correct way to take care of the elderly, they can disseminate the knowledge to every corner of the country – even to every household – and educate everyone about the importance and concept of elderly care. In the future, when these families encounter similar situations, they will not be helpless”

He hopes that through such education and advocacy, every family in need of care throughout Malaysia can be educated and bring about a positive impact to society.

Datin Lee: Raising awareness for elderly care

Advocating a happy old age

Datin Lee Jye Chyi pointed out that with the signing of the agreement, Nirvana Asia Group will embark on a new journey in caring for the elderly.

She emphasized that the main goal of the partnership with New Era University College for the KAIGO Caregiver Professional Certificate is to raise awareness for elderly care, and indirectly help agents understand the importance of this trend and course to society. After learning, they can assist more people around them and contribute to the caring spirit of the group towards society.

She said that a lot of people can look at life and death in an open-minded way, so the group believes it is time to start moving forward with life education.

Lee pointed out that the country will soon be a nation of ageing society. In another 20 years, 14% of Malaysia’s population will be over 60 years old, herself included.

“I think we can’t just let nature take its course, but instead advocate for how to spend a happy old age and embark on a happy second half of life,” she said, “Just like how our founder used to talk to people about funerals, people are fearful of death and avoid the topic. However, it is a journey that we all have to face. How to live a more dignified, happier and comfortable life, is what we have to learn now.”

Cherishing time with the elderly to reduce regrets

Lee pointed out that the group’s agents come into contact with many Chinese families and are given comprehensive life education in advocating pre-planning. In addition to grief counselling, it is more important to educate everyone to cherish the opportunity to get along well with their elders so that they can reduce grief and regrets in the future.

“Thus, we are happy to promote this and we hope that we can subsequently bring more happiness to society. We also hope that one day when we are old, we can live a happier and fuller life.”

Lee revealed that more than more than 100 agents nationwide have signed up and the group will select about 50 agents to enrol for the course.