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
picture taken from: here.
"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?
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!
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.
Labels: geylang home for the aged
Labels: volunteer at home article
prayer in his sleep
(A homeless elderly catching a nap with his hands grasped together. Singapore, Chinatown.
Labels: comment in a blog
Labels: survey done by our group.
Labels: nursing for the elderly.