A Filipina has won praise and appreciation from an 80-year-old Hong Kong man under her care as well as from the man’s children. The elderly man suffered from cancer a few years ago and now needs a tube inserted for feeding, news website HK01.com reported.

Although his daughter had training in caring for the elderly, she found it very difficult when the patient was her father.

When the man’s family discovered that salaries for local Hong Kong carers were at least HK$1,000 (US$127) per day and the quality of local nursing homes for the elderly were below standard, they looked for help from overseas.

The family first hired a nurse who had graduated from a university in India. Then they hired Maria, the Filipina. “She is not an employee, she is our family member,” the elderly man told a reporter.

Maria also cooks and does the household chores, but her main responsibility is taking care of the elderly head of the family.

His daughter praised Maria’s attentiveness as she observes and suggests how best to arrange the medical equipment in the home and checks to make sure everything is clean and sterilized.

At meal times, which can take between one and three hours, Maria sits with the elderly man and they communicate through an app on a mobile phone – Maria doesn’t speak Cantonese and the man doesn’t speak English.

Sometimes, Maria takes him to the backyard of the house and the two dance the Cha Cha, which makes him very happy. The man’s son is very grateful to Maria for the way she looks after his father. “She treats my father good, then we will treat her double better.”

The daughter agrees and said that after only a few months they treat Maria as a part of their family.