Active Aging—TMU reaches out to the local communities

Source: Center for General Education

Published on 2021-05-09

TMU featured medical care—localizing the artistic culture, aestheticizing the community medical care

Taipei Medical University links arts with community care in collaboration with local government in southern Taiwan.

In partnership with Chiayi County Health Bureau, the TMU Center for Arts and Humanities once again took its health empowerment program to southwestern Taiwan to promote good practice in enhancing health of the elderly in the local communities.

In the one-day program taking place on November 17, 2020, Professor Ying Cheng (鄭穎) led a team of TMU faculty members and students to guide the participating senior citizens through a series of group activities, including handicraft courses, puzzle games and the Eight Brocades (八段錦) movement, one of the most common forms of Chinese qigong used as exercise.

The elderly participating in the Eight Brocades (八段錦) exercises.

The elderly immersing themselves in the handicraft course.

Following the group exercise in the morning, all participants visited the Southern Branch of National Palace Museum assisted by a senior tour guide and student guides who have been trained by TMU’s “Mobile Museum (行動博物館) course” prior to taking part in this collaborative program. The Southern Branch of National Palace Museum has, over recent years, gradually integrated arts with community care in its outreach program, creating a unique form of cultural tourism with local color.

TMU has been organizing local cultural tourism activities for the elderly since 2019 while equipping students with professional museum knowledge and curatorial and tour guiding skills.

Knowledge teaching, visitation, curations are integrated into community care to improve the elderly’s quality of life. In doing so, to a certain extent, the idea of “localizing the artistic culture, aestheticizing the community medical care” is realized.

Group photo of participants visiting the Southern Branch of National Palace Museum.

Natural Therapy Course

Apart from paying attention to one’s own physical health under the pandemic, the companionship and mental health are of importance to keep one from panic or anxiety while the social distancing policy has been widely implemented.

For that reason, Taipei Medical University Active Aging Center has been offering group courses such as gong sound healing and body structural realignment (身體結構調整) to its neighboring communities since October 2020.

 Did you know?

The significance of active aging is to “activate” the vitality, the meaningful living, the wisdom of the elderly, and the solutions for an aging society through the high-quality services for the elderly with singing, dining and living together of fun.

Sound healing (聲音療癒) is an emerging method of stress-relieving therapy in recent years. The method, a natural therapy, involves only striking a musical instrument to help body adjust its frequency through the resonance.

Elderly participants immersing themselves in the sound healing courses using a drum

Elderly participants immersing themselves in the sound healing courses using a metal bowl

For two hours, the elderly immersed themselves in the stunning sounds by various musical instruments. Remaining silent, they sat with their eyes closed and just listened, enjoying their own company. Taipei Medical University hopes that through the sound waves, the elderly can be relieved of the internal stress and take away useful tips to better manage their mental health.

The elderly in the Xinyi Active Aging Center immersing in the sounds of a gong.