My Centre has engaged a considerable number of retirees in our work with students over these years ranging from advisors, mentors, tutors to partners. Not only are they generous to share their ample experience in our activities/ services such as camping, hiking and health education, but they have also been giving judicious advice on our projects regarding business start-up and philanthropic initiatives, etc. While the development of my Centre is more or less constrained by donation, the enlistment of "talent" can transform limitations into opportunities, and upgrade the quality of all-round education in the University.
During our collaboration with the elderly persons in the I·CARE Social Service Day 2018 (a programme to strengthen inter-generational solidarity) where they and the CUHK students planned and implemented together various activities for participation of the secondary school students, I was glad to see some of them had displayed outstanding leadership and demonstrated the worthiness of elders. Despite declining muscle power and slower cognitive functioning, the seniors are full of wisdom because older brains store more information so as to be able to detect familiar patterns. This forms the basis for wise decisions and behaviour.
Other than wisdom, the discernment, equanimity and savoir faire of the middle-agers (de facto elders) are treasures of which we could take great advantage. As such, they do not need to be coddled in the course of the review on elderly welfare. Respect and a touch of humanity suffice.
I·CARE Centre for Whole-person Development