The Three Elderly Siblings
As a result of his long-term need for dialysis, Xu Fu De, an elderly kidney patient, started receiving care visits from Tzu Chi volunteers in 2007, and subsequently received a higher amount of government aid through the volunteers’ assistance. He received full coverage for his dialysis treatments from the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), while the transport costs for his treatments were funded by Tzu Chi. He lived with two other unmarried elderly siblings. His elder brother, Xu Fu Chen, who was aged above 80 years old, was the pillar of support for the family. He would buy breakfast for his younger siblings and accompany them for their medical appointments.
After Xu Fu Chen passed away in 2013, Tzu Chi volunteers started playing the role of the oldest sibling in the family, taking turns to deliver three daily meals to their home, and seeing to the daily needs of the two other elderly siblings. Later, the Foundation partnered with other social service organisations to provide the necessary care for them. In June 2014, Xu Fu De passed on due to a lung infection, and volunteers helped to make arrangements for his funeral. Concerned about the younger sister (remaining sibling) Xu Wen Di’s daily living needs, volunteers living nearby visited her frequently to give her care and support, until they found a suitable nursing home that admitted her.