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A New Year, A New Start: Spreading Positivity Through Visiting the Elderly

29 Mar 2024

On 13 January 2024, students from the IMU School of Pharmacy undertook a meaningful visit to Rumah Charis Old Folks Home in Bukit Jalil. The event, orchestrated by the students, showcased their dedication to community engagement under the supervision of Dr Liew Yun Khoon (Dr Louis), the Project Advisor.


The visit to the Rumah Charis Old Folks Home by the students from the School of Pharmacy was not just an event; it was a manifestation of purpose and profound motivation. Driven by a shared commitment to community service, the students embarked on this journey with the noble intention of making a positive impact on the lives of elderly residents. Motivated by empathy and a desire to contribute beyond the academic realm, the students aimed to create meaningful connections and bring joy to the elderly. This visit reflects their dedication to embodying the principles of compassion and social responsibility, highlighting the transformative power of student-led initiatives in fostering a culture of care and solidarity.


Starting at 8 am, the event was initiated with a health screening at the Rumah Charis Old Folks Home. The seniors’ health became a focal point as the students assessed their blood glucose, blood pressure, height, and weight. Attentive doctors and pharmacists, Dr Nadiatul Azra, Dr Phyu Synn Oo and Dr Heethal were present to offer valuable guidance and address any additional or complex health issues that might arise during the screening. Other IMU staff, including Dr Louis, Dr Ng Sook Han, Mr Kow Chia Siang (Pharmacist) and Lum Ji Seng also contributed to this event.


The event at Rumah Charis Old Folks Home not only prioritised the physical health of the elderly but also became a platform for valuable learning experiences. Driven by a belief in the significance of communication skills, Dr Ng Sook Han expressed, “It’s crucial for students to learn communication with these individuals because such interactions foster empathy, understanding, and a deeper connection with the community. These encounters transcend textbook knowledge, providing students with real-life lessons in compassion and patience. In the process, they cultivate not only their professional skills but also contribute meaningfully to the well-being of the elderly residents.”


After conducting a thorough health screening, the students from the School of Pharmacy went beyond medical care.

They provided a health talk, imparting valuable insights for a healthy lifestyle. In a harmonious blend of education and community engagement, the students also actively participated in a spring cleaning session within the residence.

In a touching display of kindness, students and lecturers from the School of Pharmacy went the extra mile during their visit to Rumah Charis Old Folks Home. With a sincere desire to enhance the well-being of the elderly residents, they invested in purchasing and ordering food, humbly covering the expenses from their own pockets.


Tang Chailin, the main caregiver at Rumah Charis Old Folks Home, extended heartfelt gratitude to the students and lecturers. She expressed appreciation for the uncommon generosity observed, noting that it’s rare to witness students willingly contributing from their own pockets to aid in the cause.


Participating in the health screening at Rumah Charis Old Folks Home, Joel, one of the students from BP122, reflected on his experience, stating, “During the screening, I learned the importance of effective communication in establishing a genuine connection with the elderly residents. This experience has been eye-opening, emphasising the significance of empathy and clear communication in providing holistic care. It’s a lesson that extends beyond the academic realm, shaping my understanding of the human aspect of healthcare.” Joel’s words highlight the profound impact experiential learning can have on students, enriching their perspectives beyond textbooks.


Dr Liew Yun Khoon (Dr Louis), the Project Adviser from IMU School of Pharmacy, expressed astonishment at the students’ exceptional organisational skills and seamless execution during the event at Rumah Charis Old Folks Home.


He shared, “I was astonished at how well the students organised the flow of things. Moreover, I was also very shocked that students are willing not only to invest time and effort but also their own money. It shows how this endeavour isn’t just about finances; it’s more about a genuine commitment to making a positive impact and fostering meaningful connections within the community.” Dr Louis’s observation highlights the students’ remarkable dedication and a deeper sense of purpose beyond monetary considerations.

A Meaningful Endeavour

In closing, the visit to Rumah Charis Old Folks Home stands as a testament to the School of Pharmacy’s commitment to community engagement and holistic healthcare. The orchestrated event, led by dedicated students under the guidance of Dr Liew Yun Khoon, not only prioritised the physical health of the elderly but also showcased the transformative power of student-led initiatives.


From impactful health screenings and educational talks to heartfelt gestures like spring cleaning and providing nourishing meals, the students and lecturers demonstrated genuine care beyond the ordinary. The gratitude expressed by the main caregiver, as well as the insights shared by students like Joel, encapsulate the profound impact of this meaningful endeavour. The visit not only enriched the lives of the elderly residents but also left an enduring impression on those involved, fostering a culture of care, empathy, and social responsibility within the School of Pharmacy.

Written by Eugene Cheeng Jong Jiunn (BP122) and Pravina A/P Ellambarathi (PC222)

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