To help enrich the lives of its elderly residents, Binhu district in Wuxi, East China's Jiangsu province, has been encouraging them to actively participate in community governance and volunteering services.
These volunteers help their older and disabled peers and help mobilize residents in the neighborhoods to join culture and sporting activities.
For their efforts, these volunteers earn points that can be redeemed for gifts and services.
More importantly, volunteering has been an enriching experience that makes their life more meaningful.
Official statistics show that the proportion of elderly citizens aged above 60 now exceeds 29 percent of Binhu's total registered population. At the same time, the district is seeing an increasing number of elderly volunteers.
Elderly volunteers help buy daily necessities for their older peers in Shuixiuxincun community in Binhu. [Photo/WeChat account: wxbhfb]
Wang Meijuan, a 64-year-old retiree from the Shuixiuxincun community in Helie sub-district in Binhu, has been helping a couple, both of whom are more than 90 years old, for nearly six years.
She visits the couple every day and often helps them to buy fruits, vegetables and daily necessities, prepare dinner and do housekeeping chores. She sometimes even travels to the hospital to help get their medication.
"I can still work in my early sixties. Helping others brings happiness to me," Wang said.
Wang is not the only warm-hearted resident in her community. The community has formed a volunteer team consisting mainly of people in sixties to provide care and assistance to different groups.
An elderly person and a student plant flowers in their community. [Photo/WeChat account: wxbhfb]
With the community's support, a gardening team comprising more than 40 retirees has built a 70-square-meter flowerbed that has various flowers growing throughout the year.
Ni Zhongxing, an 87-year-old volunteer in the team, said the community this year provided seeds of flowering plants, fertilizers and planting tools. More people have also joined the initiative.
Ni also spends his time volunteering as a calligraphy teacher. In fact, he has been holding calligraphy classes every summer holiday for 22 years. Wang's grandson has attended Ni's classes for three consecutive years.