by Anne Das
Established in 1938, the Salvation Army Malaysia is known for their many relief efforts to the less fortunate. The Salvation Army Home for the Aged located here in Ipoh took over operations from the ‘Sisters of The Poor’ and has been running the show since 1994.
The home,situated in the quiet township of Jelapang, aims to provide care and shelter to retirees and ensure they live out their golden days in a fulfilling manner. There are currently 30 residents here, aged between 56 and 89, most of whom do not have direct family members who can look after them. There are those who are unmarried, while others who do have children, are either aged themselves or just unable to care for their parents financially or emotionally.
The Salvation Army Home for the Aged has a max capacity of 60 residents. And they only accept legitimate applicants, who do not have family to care for them and/or are really in need of shelter and care. Once approved, a nominal fee is charged, if they are able to pay.
In addition to the physiotherapists and medical doctors who support them with daily check-in’s, there are also about 7 health attendants who assist the residents with their daily activities and who are on a 24/7 rotation. This ensures the best care is given daily while encouraging the residents to keep fit, mentally emotionally and spiritually.
All their residents are encouraged to participate in organised activities and hobbies such as gardening, cooking, and sewing, while enjoying other group-oriented camaraderie like music and singing sessions.
Ipoh Echo had a chance to speak with Mrs. Joon Mooi Jones, 60-year-old Superintendent of Salvation Army Home for the Aged.
“My journey began in The Salvation Army as a child, where I was raised at the Kuching Children’s Home. I started working for The Salvation Army 32 years ago in Singapore as the assistant superintendent at The Haven, where I met my husband, Nigel Jones. Later I had the privilege of working alongside my husband to care and raise numerous children (besides our own two children) at the very home I was raised in. I was then appointed to lead the organisation’s residential care for the aged, 18 years ago.
“As a caregiver for many years, I have also witnessed how time is like a thief that slowly robs people of their mental and physical strength. Some residents succumb to illnesses such as stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and other age-related disorders. When this happens, my role is to ensure that they are given the physical, emotional, and spiritual care they need and keeping them safe. Some even call me “mother” as they regress into their past as children.
“In addition to that, working with the aged also means fulfilling their last wishes. Some residents would request to meet family members whom they have not seen in years. When this happens, my role as their ‘mother’ or caretaker is to help them fulfil those wishes and comfort them until their last breath. I find immense joy in knowing that they are loved and cared for to the very end.”
“Things took a drastic turn during the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, we are thankful to our supporters who still thought of us. Well-wishers would deliver food and necessities to us, to ensure the residents still received the best care in this safe haven despite the outside world being in turmoil.”
“Today, I am filled with gratitude towards The Salvation Army for nurturing me into becoming the person I am today. I am thankful that with the care I had received as a child, I am now able to give back through service towards the elderly.”
“Every Chinese New Year, we liven up the atmosphere by hosting a three day-long open house at the Perak Home for the Aged for well-wishers to come and celebrate with us. Sometimes, the more mobile residents will receive personal invitations to enjoy home-cooked dinners with our volunteers. These invitations would really cheer them up and they would eagerly anticipate them.”
“We are in need for more cash contributions, as we need to pay for manpower (as we have limited volunteers), utility bills, and the general upkeep of the home. We are always on the lookout for volunteers with expert knowledge who can assist with rehabilitation for persons with stroke or limited mobility, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other conditions that generally affect the elderly is very much welcomed.” appealed Mrs. Jones as she explains their needs.
The public is more than welcome to visit the home in Jelapang, to spend some time with the residents and listen to their wisdom and stories of yesteryears. They may be advanced in age, but they still have so much to give.
The Salvation Army was first established in Ipoh in 1960 to serve single mothers and children who have fallen into difficult times. They have been serving the Ipoh community for more than 60 years.
- Mrs Joon Moi Jones and her English husband Nigel used to work at The Salvation Army Strawberry Fields Children’s Home in Liverpool, United Kingdom – the home was made famous by Beatles member, John Lennon in the song “Strawberry Fields.” The home is now a training centre for individuals with special needs.
- The Perak Home for the Aged was featured in the 2014 local award-winning film, “The Journey” a Malaysian Chinese-language comedy-drama film directed by Chiu Keng Guan and written by Ryon Lee.
- The Salvation Army Children’s Home, Ipoh was featured in the 2006 Hong Kong movie, “After This Our Exile”, which also features Hong Kong celebrity Aaron Kwok on location at the home.
For those who would like to donate to the Salvation Army Home for the Aged, here are the details below (All donations are tax-deductible). Interested donors are encouraged to call them and make a visit. Alternatively, you may transfer online: –
Name: The Salvation Army
Account Number: 5005 1196 0014
Recipient Reference: Please indicate your centre of choice to donate (e.g. Perak Home for the Aged/Ipoh Children’s Home/Ipoh Boys Home)
To receive your tax-exempt receipt, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org along with the following details:
Proof of the bank transaction
Your name as per your NRIC/business registration
Your NRIC/passport number/business registration number
Your complete postal address of current residence/business location
For more information, please contact Algene Tan, Senior Community Relations Manager at The Salvation Army Regional Headquarters Malaysia at email@example.com or 016-3361842 and to organise a visit to the home please contact Ms. Jones: –
Telephone : (05) 526 2108
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Location : Jalan Bersatu, Jelapang,30020 Ipoh, Perak