August 21-24, 2018 was a most enlightening week as six delegates from Shanghai, China visited the City of Chicago through The Chicago Sister Cities Program. Members of the Chicago Shanghai Social Services Committee welcomed the delegation and a translator to the world of senior/elder services as administered by the state of Illinois and the City of Chicago.
Planning for this esteemed delegation took place over the course of one year. We aimed to provide the delegates with the most comprehensive view of service delivery models from the federal, state and local levels. Additionally, the planning committee ensured that our guests were exposed to a variety of the milieus that seniors interface with in their day to day lives.
The delegates visited Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Little Brothers -Friends of the Elderly Chicago, The Chinese American Service League, Cook County Public Guardian’s Office, World Business Chicago, Three Crowns, The Clare Senior Independent Living Community.
The week culminated with an International Symposium that focused on how to integrate community-based inter-professional care and services to optimize the health and well-being of older adults.
Conversely, we learned a lot from listening to how things are done on behalf of seniors in Shanghai. Next year a group of Chicago Senior Services professionals will travel to Shanghai, and their lives will change forever.
A professional and cultural exchange of this magnitude certainly creates bonds of unity and promotes a world of sharing. We are all grateful.