A total of 58 domestic workers and 55 elderly employers were given awards by a Hong Kong elderly-services association on Saturday for establishing harmonious employer-employee relationships.
Ho Ying-woon, a 70-year-old employer, and her Filipino domestic worker Nerisa were among the pairs of awardees honored by Caritas Hong Kong’s elderly-services branch, Oriental Daily reported.
Over the past three years, the two women have only communicated with body language, as Ho doesn’t speak English while Nerisa doesn’t know Cantonese.
Ho admitted that it was frustrating at first as Nerisa didn’t seem to understand anything she said. However, she found that Nerisa was a proactive and passionate young woman who was always attentive to her employer’s needs.
Ho recalled that one day she was sleeping in a locked bedroom and didn’t wake up until after Nerisa had knocked on the door many times. When she finally opened the door, she saw Nerisa was crying from worry about her safety.
“I treat her like my own daughter and I have never thought of changing to another maid,” Ho said.
She added that mutual respect and communication were important in building a successful working relationship.
Another pair of employer-maid awardees were Au Yeung Ling, 87, and her maid from Indonesia named Yunis.
Yunis has been working for Au Yueng for two years.
Au Yeung appreciates Yunis’ attentive personality, as the domestic helper would take pictures of all of the medicines her elderly employer received after a doctor’s appointment and send the photos to her daughter to make sure that she took the right medication.
Kwan Siu-ling, senior supervisor of Caritas Hong Kong Services for the Elderly, said the award program aimed to enhance communication between elderly employers and their domestic workers.
Incidents of ill-treatment that have been exposed on social media are exceptional cases, Kwan said, adding that there were many more cases of good working relationships between elderly folk and their helpers.