On March 13th 2016, the CandleX team visited a Psychiatric Group Home, Sunshine Home, in the outer suburbs of Beijing. Sunshine Home houses patients who have already been discharged from hospital but still need care and assistance. Sunshine Home assists patients with the rehabilitation process.
Sunshine Home invited us to visit so that we could learn about the facilities and services available for patients, as well as to gain an understanding of the gaps in available resources and resultant challenges faced by the Sunshine Home carers. We were moved by how passionate and dedicated the caring director and staff is. Director Yang said that, “Everyone here is respected and acknowledge of their ability to contribute to society. What we do here is create a safe environment and give the patients opportunities to regain basic life skills.”
Most patients here are long term residents with chronic psychiatric disorders, including depression and schizophrenia. Family visits some once a week, while others have been left alone. The majority of patients face serious financial difficulties due to their lack of capacity to work. This presents a serious challenge for Sunshine Home because most patients are not able to pay for the assistance that they receive. Patients are still fed and cared for even if they are unable to pay and Sunshine Home is always trying to improve the quality of the service provided.
It was clear that the patients receive really good care. They were all relaxed and calm and the staff know each of their likes and dislikes well. The patients follow a routine and they each have their own roles and responsibilities to attend to during the day. Some help with cleaning the street and home while others act as salesmen at the home’s corner store.
Twice a week sees the much love event “Crazy Bake”. Staff and patients work together to bake breads such as bagels and challah. International schools and stores in Beijing purchase this bread, and this helps to supplement Sunshine’s Home income. Patients also learn how to make homemade soap and at least one day a week is dedicated to this fragrant project.
At Sunshine Home, the patients are not judged and their skills and abilities are valued. They are given the opportunity to use their skills and to feel capable and productive. This acceptance and care leads to Sunshine Home feeling like home those who are suffering and may not find such a place elsewhere.
If you would like to volunteer at Sunshine Home or provide financial assistance please email CandleX at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist you in initiating contact.