Municipal Government of San Mateo, Rizal
Best Practice Focus Area/s
Citizens / Customers
This is a GBPR entry
Through the leadership of both the LGU and the OSCA, the Elderly Visitation Program was regularly carried out in San Mateo. The program aims to visit certain bedridden elderlies in each community. The Elderly Visitation (EV) team consists of the OSCA officers (the OSCA President and the Barangay President), social workers, health workers, community leaders, and pastors from the Movement of Moral Transformation of San Mateo (MMTSM), physical therapists (PTs), and People’s Program Initiative (PPI).
Background and Problem
Based on the Local Government’s trajectory, the demographics of elderly people will increase in the coming years. This increase will lead to additional government social services focusing on senior citizens’ welfare. In addition, a large percentage of this sector is identified to be indigent. Given this, not all senior citizens are fortunate enough to have access to privileges such as a monthly pension, free healthcare, luxurious care, and comfortable retirement. Unfortunately, some are Persons With Disabilities, bedridden, or both. Their lives are not ideal, especially for those who have aged and experienced life to the fullest and still have to live the rest of their days restricted to their bed, sick and poor. The OSCA acknowledged the need to provide extra care and attention to bedridden elderlies in the indigent sector.
Solution and Impact
The EV team conducts rapid check-ups for the elderly and provides free medicines and necessary vitamin supplements. They also conduct counseling for both elderlies and their guardian, as well as Physical Therapy guidance for the guardian with the elderly’s wellness in mind. They also bring food packs including milk, fruits, juices, and crackers for the bedridden senior citizens. The pastors provide spiritual counseling and prayers for elderlies and their families.
Overall, the program aims to provide a holistic yet personal approach in taking care of the indigent and bedridden senior citizens of San Mateo, Rizal. These are among the most vulnerable of San Mateo’s communities. The LGU and the OSCA would like to care for them in the most endearing and compassionate way possible. Visiting them in their homes makes the bedridden elderly feel important and cared for. This is one of the ways LGUs can give back to the generation that built the nation — making them feel important and valuing them as they age.
In one visit, the elderly received a free rapid check-up with free medicines and vitamin supplements, a “kumustahan” with the OSCA officers and community leaders, a food and nutrition pack, a basic physical therapy session, spiritual counseling, and an interview with a social worker. This program created an opportunity to improve the quality of life of indigent and bedridden senior citizens. It also uplifted their spirit by taking the social services of the Local Government right to their very homes. The beneficiaries felt valued and cared for; they were given hope.
The Municipality of San Mateo began its Elderly Visitation Program in February 2014. The project was a collaboration between the Municipal Government of San Mateo and the San Mateo Federation of Senior Citizens (OSCA), aiming to help senior citizens who are bedridden, disabled, and indigent. As the program prospered, it was held regularly through the formation of the EV Team. Since it became more regular, an average of 15 senior citizens were visited weekly. Annually, it could be estimated that the Team visited about 600 indigent bedridden elderlies.
Former Mayor Tina Diaz also received the Dakilang Adhikain ng Ating Lahi Award for the Elderly Visitation Program for its invaluable contributions to uplifting lives and promoting the welfare of senior citizens. This recognition was bestowed by Business Mirror, Unilab, Ritemed, and United Bayanihan Foundation, Inc. on the occasion of the 5th Dakilang Adhikain ng Ating Lahi Award in 2017.