Day 17 - Taipei - Plahan

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78-year-old Bo Shan is a member of the Atayal group, Taiwan’s second largest indigenous community and are located in the country’s central mountains. Bo Shan had been healthy and active for most of his life, until one day he got a bad cold and went to the hospital for a check-up. He was admitted and a tracheostomy tube was inserted. What followed was a difficult period of constant transition between the hospital and nursing home. Bo Shan felt deeply alone and wished to go back home to his village.

Plahan came forward to help. Plahan in Atayal means “people sitting around the fire pit, gathering together to support each other”. The organization formed a multidisciplinary team to help Bo Shan return home and receive the care he needed. The care team further assisted Bo Shan to reconnect with his family and friends at church. Gradually, Bo Shan regained his ability to live independently and began to embrace a new role as a supporter of other seniors in the community.

“Because of Plahan, I could go back home and find joy in life that had been long lost since I was admitted to the hospital and nursing home. Plahan offers me not only care and support, but also an extended family. I am grateful and willing to be the support to others in my community,” says Bo Shan.

The Concept

Plahan is designed to mobilize and empower local citizens to care for their seniors and catalyze mutual support in the community. It develops a strong support system to attract locals to be trained caregivers. It partners with medical and nursing professionals to develop and lead both online and in person training.

Plahan further empowers local caregivers to identify opportunities to enhance seniors’ sense of belonging and engage them in various communal activities. It implements a time-banking scheme to encourage people to volunteer and take active participation in the community. It transformed a once empty rural village into a community hub where people of all ages and abilities can join together.

The Result

Plahan enables more than 100 older adults return to or continue to age in their homes. Around 10% of them require 24-hour care and support. The participation of the seniors in community activities has increased by 40%. Moreover, some of the seniors are no longer mere care recipients, but have also become contributors who encourage and support others to stay self-reliant and connected. Plahan continues to build its strong support system and successfully attracts people to return to their villages. It now has more than 50 caregivers with various types of work arrangements.

Plahan needs help with implementation of video-based, interactive, online educational modules for caregivers to enhance their nursing, communication, and motivational skills. They also need to learn about the technology that automates the collection and analysis of data to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the service. If you would like to help Plahan make these improvements, contact Hsin-Ling Tsai at

Watch this video to learn more about this inspiring initiative!

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(c) Chuan Chuan Liang, Wenchi Zhen and Yi-Ying Lin