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AboutUs
We are the Lions of TKGS 2e5.
Eri Ting, Teo Chin, Vidhya, Teo Qi Ting, Yvonne Liew.
This is the ICT product and plan of action of our CmPS project.
It is made to raise awareness about the abandonment of elderly.
The title of our project is the Abandonment Of Old Folks.


Sources
sgForums
blog with comment
Lions Organization
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Pictures
Volunteer at Home Article
Geylang East Home for the Aged
Video
Video



Comment Box




Archives
June 2008
July 2008


Skin
original skin design
background: heroine
colour scheme codes: cbox
This is produced by Lions.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Introduction




Many Singaporeans today view the elderly as a burden. Most of them now either live separately from their family or are left in the care of nursing homes or hospice. Some even live in the streets. Many of them never get visited by their relatives or family at all, they feel neglected and extremely disappointed, as the children they have raised do not even show care and concern.According to the Singapore Medical Journal 2006, the number of nursing home beds has increased to over 6400, 75% of which were provided by 28 nursing homes run by voluntary welfare organizations and the remainder by privately-run nursing homes.



Surveys were carried out and the results show that there are more room for improvement for the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren.

The reason why Singaporeans view the elder as a burden is understandable. According to our research, as human age, majority loses their physical abilities and will have problems in their physical vitality. Their mental capacity will decrease and they may turn senile. They also turn more sentimental, stubborn and emotional too.

Singapore, a modern community, was not built in a single day, but after years of hardship and labour of our elders. Singaporeans today are reaping the bountiful fruits of their labour, and they should not repay them with disregard and disrespect. However, Singaporeans still choose to abandon and neglect them just because they are unable to contribute to the society much. There are some elders now who live below the poverty line and do jobs ‘lowly’ jobs to make ends meet.

To encourage more families to live with their elders, the government has provided tax subsidies to families who live together with them. These families are prioritized to move into larger flats if they live in small ones. The government has also set up various schemes and organizations, like the Public Assistant Scheme, which provides monthly grants to poor and needy elderly who are ‘abandoned’ by their families. Although what the government has increased the number of families who live with their elders, there is still an increasing number of elderly being ‘abandoned’ each year.

If the numbers continues to increase, the government may have to increase taxes and invest a considerable sum of money to build shelters, renovate nursing homes and buy more advanced medical equipment, food and beds for these elderly.

The rise in the number of abandoned elderly also creates a bad impression on tourists and foreigners. They may think that Singaporeans are heartless and have no filial piety. Tourists would be disgusted at the sight of old folks begging on the streets. Foreigners, who considered living in Singapore, may choose to live in other countries instead. The rise in the number of abandoned old folks may affect tourism and immigration in Singapore.


Given that old folks may feel neglected and hurt when they are ‘abandoned’ in a
nursing home or in the streets, and have the lack of motivation to
continue living, how might we encourage people to show compassion and care for
the elderly, 2008 and beyond, so that they know people do care about
them?



picture taken from: here.


Lions
6:38 PM;

Monday, June 23, 2008

This is another video found on Youtube which depicts how some elderly live in poverty, despair and suffering in Singapore, a prosperous, safe, "First-World" country with many good reputations.





"Are you a Singaporean and think that the senior citizens in our society are living comfortably in homes or are being well taken care of by their children?Think again.

Thank you, this is a production by YJ077.

We hope that we have enlightened you with our very own video of the plight the senior citizens [a certain group of them] face in today's high standard of living society.

Song title: What a Wonderful World

All the pictures found in the video were either taken by Laura or found on the net. "

We are saddened that there are still many eldery out there in Singapore who are mistreated and are living in "the dark". It is such a shame that our seniors, who worked so hard in the past to make Singapore prosper so much, are taken for granted and just chucked to the side of the road like some garbage.

Will we end up like this when we age?

Source: here.

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Lions
5:15 PM;

Friday, June 20, 2008



"We worked on this project with one of our Singapore hospitals in 2006 to broadly help improve the lives of the elderly, in particular, in the space of elderly homecare. The hospitals in Singapore recognize that because of the aging population in Singapore, the hospitals could be overburdened with geriatric cases in the near future if something is not done to help improve homecare for the elderly. Ideally, the hospitals would prefer that elderly patients be able to take as much care of themselves at home and come to the hospital only when necessary for outpatient services.

In this regard, TIF designed & facilitated an innovation process to get a group of 50+ bankers to uncover insights & generate fresh new ideas/prototypes to how elderly homecare could be improved, in particular, improved beyond what was in existence today."


We, the Lions, are inspired by this video, and would like to share it with you. This video does not directly show the 'abandonment of elderly' but shows that compassion and care for the elderly exist in this community afterall, and it also shows how happy the elderly were to have receive great help from the kind people who would even spare a thought about them. We hope that after showng you this video, you would also feel inspired to show more concern for the elderly, and STOP ABANDONMENT!

Source: here.

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Lions
8:37 PM;

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Logo posted by Lions, addition to paragraph written by Vidhya.

Geylang East Home for the Aged was founded in 1978. It is a sheltered home managed by a group of volunteers and is situated within the community. Presently it can accomodate up to 40 people and it had served as a haven for destitute elderly in the last stage of their lives. As it is not a beneficiary of the Community Chest, it depends from kind hearted individuals as well as orgenisations to operate. It also holds fund raising activities to make up for any short falls.

I visited the Geylang East Home for the Aged, and at the first sight of the place I could see the bonding between the old folks. It was an amazing sight, the type of old folks that I usually see are those who grumble and groan for almost everything. However, when I entered the home I could see the elderly sitting together reading newspaper, and talking to each other amiably. It was a pleasant feeling, they were so friendly and I felt at home. But most of them were chinese so I could not communicate with them.

Anyways I was not there to just see how the old folks behave. I was there on a mission to interview the old folks. However, I could not possibly take an interview of the oldfolks as they couldn't speak English or my language-which is tamil. I was at a disadvantage, I did not know what to do. Then, the manager who was a kind lady of about 45 agreed to my request to interview her. I was so grateful to her. Now I could know how old folks feel about staying in a shelter home even if I do not get that information from an elderly person.

I could not record her as she did not allow me to do so. Thus I am just going to write the valuable information she had given me in the following paragraph.

There are altogether 40 elderlies living in the shelter home. In which there are 13 females and 24 males. In this number about 70% are single and 30% are with families. This shows that the maximum number of old folks are without children, so we should not accuse all the "children" of cruelity. However we should try to decrease the 30% with families which is already a lot. Although we shouldn't also put all the families in the wrong as, some would really have no time for their parents as they are working 24/7, thus making their parents feel neglected due to lack of care. At least if the "children" put their parents in a shelter home they can work freely and the parents will also feel happy as they interact with the other elderlies, and they can also be active.

We should pity the old folks who live alone in HDB flats, working hard to even pay for a meal. Compared to that its much better to live in a shelter home where you can interact with the other old folks. There are a few of these types of old folks in Geylang East Home for the Aged. If the old folks get sick some where and they get admitted in the hospital by passer-bys, after they recuperate they will be sent to a near by shelter home and the old folks do not need to pay for their stay there as the goverment will pay. If the sick elderly has a family they will be sent to their families. As there is not any doctors in the Geylang East Home for the Aged the sick elderlies would be sent to the Geylang East polyclinic which is very near by.

There are primary schools going to the Geylang East Home for the Aged to do their CIP and when they are doing their CIP they also get to know more about the old folks and keep the old folks company. I am very happy to say my primary school was one of them and I got attached to the elderly. During that visit when I was in my primary 6, my whole class played Bingo with the old folks. Each of us had to partner one of the old folks, and then we were suppose to play Bingo together. It was a fun game and I think everybody enjoyed it especially the old folks. It was a joyful feeling when the old folks laughed with us. However when we were about to return most of the old folks cried. That pulled at my heartstring, and that was when I realised that it must be very hard for them to be living away from their children and grandchildren. And I am taking this opportunity to create awareness about the abandonment of old folks and wish that it reaches those people who had abandoned their elderly and who are about to abandon their elderly.

We sincerely hope that at sometime in the future the abandonment of old folks will decrease.

Pictures posted by Lions.
We are not allowed to take pictures or videos, so we found some pictures on the official website of the Geylang East Home for the Aged instead:


Official website: here.

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Lions
5:12 PM;

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Volunteer at home? NO thanks! A Singaporean's view.
Source: here.

This is a letter written by a Singaporean sharing her view on a news article titled 'Volunteer at home? No thanks!' (ST Dec 23). This article is about how young Singaporeans prefer to go overseas to do charity work rather than volunteering in 'unglamorous' homes.

Dec 27, 2007

Charity begins at home - literally

I REFER to the report, 'Volunteer at home? No thanks!' (ST, Dec 23). It is a pity, though not surprising, that some young people prefer to go overseas to do charity work than help in Singapore. They claim they interact with people of different cultures and volunteering at home is more demanding.

I wonder if these people crave excitement and glamour that derive from talking about serving overseas, having been to other countries and building schools, rather than making a difference at home. A superiority syndrome where one can go to a poor country and then hold forth about one's contribution there may also be a magnet. Furthermore, overseas stints are more newsworthy.

In a local 'home', the duties may include cleaning drains and windows, sweeping, mopping, cooking, washing up, bathing and cleaning residents, washing soiled clothing and so on. How unexciting, even disgusting!

Compared to this, overseas stints may be termed 'white-collar' jobs, like teaching, playing with children, helping a medical team, erecting a building and so on. No doubt they may have to live in rough conditions sometimes but that in itself sounds more prestigious than telling friends: 'Oh, I go to an old folks' home in Choa Chu Kang every Saturday and feed some toothless old people and talk to them.'

But there is much to be done here in Singapore. Here too, one can get exposure to different cultures. Many people who mix only in narrow one-race circles will find local service exhilarating, educational and an eye-opener. When they find there are poor and lonely people in rich Singapore, it will make them think how they can help Singapore become a better place. They should not miss this wonderful opportunity to become more responsible and loving towards their fellow citizens.

I agree that helping at a home in Singapore is a long-term commitment. But it need not be a weekly commitment. Many homes will accept if a group will go there once a fortnight or even once a month. Other groups can serve on other weekends.
Schools too may be guilty of promoting overseas service projects enthusiastically. It makes for a good report in the annual magazine. I wonder how many schools have weekly or monthly service projects in Singapore. Overseas projects may sound grander and more glamorous than local ones, but there is a need here, even in rich Singapore.

Murali Sharma

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Lions
4:50 PM;


Pictures.
Purpose: Pictures to show the homeless elderly.
A homeless old man in the void deck of a flat.



Elderly people checking trash bins and looking for cardboard for a living.

Source: here.



Homeless
Source: here.


another lonely day...


Source: here.

Comment by Fish Tan: These old folks are commonly spotted under my flat. Senior citizens are found sleeping overnight on cold concrete chairs everyday. Its actually illegal in Singapore, but well, the poor will always find their ways for a shelter above their head.

Source: here.

prayer in his sleep
(A homeless elderly catching a nap with his hands grasped together. Singapore, Chinatown.


Source: here.


Help...

Source: here.

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Lions
12:10 PM;


Old Folks Abandoned, seen in bus stops.
Source: here.

Purpose: A comment in a blog whereby the author have seen elderly folks lying at bus stops at night with no place to go and feels affected by the type of society we live in with no compassion for the elderly.

As I woke up for my ride this morning, it never occur to me that I’ll be sitting here now writing this. Thoughts are running through my head but I just can’t seem to be able to put structure them into the words and express them as I would like to but here goes.

Nothing beats a morning ride.

As I zipped through the quiet neighbourhood, with the sound of the wind rushing by my ears, the feeling of the cool morning breeze running through my hair directed through the air vents in the helmet makes me feel fresh even though I’m sweating like a pig and my muscles are screaming for me to stop from all the effort.

One thing I can’t help but notice is the number of old folks that are sleeping at the bus stops. What are they doing sleeping here at this ungodly hour? I can definitely say that they are not waiting for buses as there aren’t any service that runs at 4am in the morning. Then it dawned upon me. They’re homeless.

I’ve heard and read about the homeless in Singapore, there was even a documentary made to highlight this situation. Abandoned by their children or having no children as they’ve worked pass their prime to settle down, they’ve no one to support them as they grow old and their savings dwindled from the increasing cost of living. The situation is more common than anyone of us would like to admit but the morning quietness of the neighbourhood with no other distractions around you does punctuate this rather strongly.

It got me thinking. As society progresses, and as we grow old and slow down due to our age and being unable to catch up with the progresses as we are able to do so now, will we be eventually left behind to our own devices to be forgotten by everyone else? Will our savings hold out?
Today as the standard of living is rising rapidly, we find it more and more difficult to make ends meet these days, what I’ve seen this morning does trigger a sense of fear and hopelessness about the future.

Granted that we have more access to information and knowledge to help lower the chances of our fate ending as such, there is no guarantee as to what will happen in the future. And what about these folks who’ve not had such information in the past? Are we to just forget them and hope that they will just eventually go away? And even if we are willing to help them, are we able to?

As I spin around my neighbourhood, the peace, quiet and joy of the ride was overshadowed by a sense of fear and uncertainty as I can’t help but wonder if this is the bleak future that we’re all riding into.

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Lions
11:54 AM;


How do Singaporeans view 'the abandonment of old folks'?

To find out Singaporeans' views and opinions on the 'abandonment of old folks', we have posted a topic, titled, 'What are your opinions about the abandonment of old folks?' on sgForums. However, due to poor response, we challenged Singaporeans with a more personal and serious question, 'are you gonna dump (abandon) your parents into an old folk's home?'. There was an overwhelming response to that as Singaporeans not only answered but shared their opinions on abandonment. The responses were both positive and negative in some sense.

We have also found another topic in 'Just Talk Lah', a forum in STOMP (The Straits Times) titled 'will you send your parents to an old folks home?'. There were many views and opinions there as well regarding the abandonment of old folks.


Generally, most of the forum posts in both topic strongly disagreed to this matter, some stated that they might if they did not have a choice. There were few posts agreeing.

So what exactly did Singaporeans voice out?

Those who answered ‘YES’ complained that their parents had treated them very badly or had a lot of bad habits and are not willing to look after them. Some are fearful that taking care of their parents might take up most of the time they needed to work, socialize with their children or time for oneself. Some even went in further saying that they will dump them on the streets instead.

Here are some posts:

"DONT DUMP THEM. MAKE THEM BE BEGGARS."

“I will do that to my father but not to my mother! There are a lot of negative things about my father, so I choose to leave him to rot in Singapore whereas I will invite my mother over to USA to stay with me.”

"sadly to say...if they are gonna suffer in loneliness in the folks home...i rather pray they die faster......."

"sell them to thailand be limbless beggar"

Those who answered ‘NO’ reasoned that it was immoral and unjust to leave their parents in the care of an old folk’s home just because they were busy with their work and had no time for their parents. They are aware that it is their parents who raised them and helped them become what they are today and are very grateful.

These Singaporeans wrote:


"Why do we have to make an excuse that we are busy with our life and work? Aren’t our parents parts of our life too? I don’t believe putting your parents into an old folk’s home has no similarity as dumping your parents. I have seen many lies and empty promises. Well, you can make promises to your parents that you will visit them occasionally, but as time passes occasional visits could turn into yearly visits and yearly visits could turn into visits once in a blue moon.. Even if the child pays for his or her parents’ stay at the old folk’s home, to me it’s just bullshit, there is no point of paying up the bills if he or she doesn’t visit his or her parents. Eventually, he or she would stop paying for his or her parent’s stay and would cut contact with his or her parents."

“Oh no way will I abandon my mum and just leave her in the care of an old folk’s home! I will take great care of her and shower her with love and care. If it wasn’t for her, I would not be who I am today and I wouldn’t be a strong-willed and mature person that I am today. Without her, I am nothing. I am really grateful and thankful to her for being my pillar of support all these years.”

"hell no. its not like they abandon me when i was young, even if they do, i won't admit them to old folk's home too. think of some day ur own kids do that to you especially with the big changes in the society now
."

Those who answered ‘MAYBE’ wrote in that they might leave their parents in an old folk’s home under certain circumstances. Some stated that it might not be too bad to place their parents in an old folk’s home as there would be someone taking care of them and the old folks would have each other to have a nice game of mahjong or have a nice long chat.

Here are some posts:

“I won’t… unless I am really forced by circumstances. Even then, I will definitely try my best to look after them.”

“It’s morally wrong to put your parents into an old folk’s home, but if you were to take a step into their lives, change your perception, you will realize that it’s not that bad. I would rather put them into one because there would be someone to look after them and there will be other residents to talk to, rather than letting them stay at home with nobody to talk to and there could be risk of losing both your home and parents.”

we have also interviewed some Singaporeans on their opinions on the abandonment of old folks face to face.

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Lions
11:31 AM;

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This survey was done by our group.

Survey results
Purpose: This survey aims to find out how well the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is and how much time teenagers in Singapore (mainly secondary students) spend time with their grandparents. We have assessed 48 youths with their ages ranging from 12+ to 17.

Q1: Do you have grandparents?
Out of 48 youths surveyed, 81.25% (39 students) have answered “yes” while the remaining 18.75% (9 students) have answered no. This shows that a fairly large number of youths in Singapore do have grandparents.



Q2: Are your grandparents staying in an old folk’s home?
Surprisingly, our survey results show that none of the students with grandparents are staying in an old folk’s home. Therefore, 0% (0 students) have answered “yes” and 100% (39 students excluding students without grandparents) have answered “no”. This suggests that most grandparents in Singapore are not staying in an old folk’s home but either living independently or together with their family.


Q3: How often do you visit them (your grandparents)? (This only applies to those who answered “yes” in the previous question.
Since all 39 students (excluding students who do not have grandparents) have answered “no” for the previous question, this question is no applicable.

Q4: Do you live with your grandparents now, then? (This question is only applicable to students who answered “no” for question 3.)
Out of 39 students (excluding students who do not have grandparents), 18% (7 students) have answered “yes” and 82% (32 students) have answered “no”. From this result, we can infer that most grandparents in Singapore lives separately from their family.



Q5: How often do you visit your grandparents? (This question only applies to those who answered ‘no’ for the fourth question.
Out of 32 students (excluding students without grandparents and students who live with their grandparents), 15.625% (5 students) have answered “once a week”, 18.75% (6 students) have answered “once a month”, 25% (8 students) have answered “on special occasions, like Chinese New Year”, 0% (0 students) have answered “never” and 40.625% (13 students) have answered “others”. They have specified that they visit their grandparents during school holidays, fortnightly and yearly. This result shows us that students at least visit their grandparents at least once a year.


Q6: From the scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate your relationship with your grandparents?
Out of 39 students surveyed (excluding students without grandparents), 12% (5 students) have rated their relationship with their grandparents from 1 to 2, 48% (19 students) rated it 3 and 38% (15 students) rated it from 4 to 5. We can see from this result that the relationship between most of the grandparents and grandchildren in Singapore are neutral, as in not too bad and not too good.


In conclusion, most youths in Singapore have grandparents who do not live in an old folk’s home but instead live separately and they visit them at least once a year. The relationship between them is positive although more improvements could be done.



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Lions
2:18 PM;



Purpose: As I searched on the web for more information about the abandonment of the elderly, I came across a website of a non-profit organisation and charity, The Lions Organisation, a nursing home offering health care services to meet the needs of the elderly suffering or recovering from any sickness, disability or injury. The whole group felt inspired because it was very hard to be able to find such kindness from the hearts of people nowadays, who would not only lend a helping hand to the poor abandoned elderly but also make an effort to improve their lives and make Singapore a better place to live in.


The History...
The Lions Clubs in Singapore were deeply concerned that many elderly people who had been vital and productive during their working years had fallen on difficult times and had no place to turn to.
In 1980, their first community home for the aged destitute and elderly was started. Situated at a Housing and Development Board void deck at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, it was a modest start, providing free lodging for 18 residents.

In 1985, the Lions Clubs turned their attention to caring for the elderly sick which required a high level of motivation and compassion. A nursing home at Toa Payoh Rise using a converted World War II bomb shelter was started. The nursing home catered for 45 residents. In 1997, the nursing home at Toa Payoh Rise was torn down for redevelopment.

In the meantime, the Lions Clubs secured a site at Bedok South Avenue 2 and a new building was completed in 1997 which accommodated 154 residents. Along with the centralised multi-purpose areas, residents could dine, watch television, interact with their families and volunteers, or simply spend quiet moments alone. Beautiful landscaped gardens lend an air of tranquility to the nursing home.

In January 2003, the redevelopment at Toa Payoh Rise was completed and we had our new nursing home which could accommodate 200 residents. Along with the increased space, we now have a 42-bed dementia wing and physiotherapy/occupational therapy centre and a team of highly skilled staff.

Together with the 154-bedded nursing home at Bedok South, the Lions Home has a total of 354 nursing home beds under its wing. For these 2 nursing homes, Lions Home has over 160 administrative & nursing staff.
For more information, please search http://www.lionshome.org.sg/, the Lions Organisation Homw Page.

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Lions
10:35 AM;