Include all seniors in assessing social isolation

Living alone may not be a problem for the old if there is good family support or if one is wealthy ("Old, living alone and surprisingly healthy / Solo living does not mean no social life"; Dec 8).

But what about those seniors who do not have good family support? Then living alone is hard, especially if the person is unwell.

Whether a person is socially active could change as the person ages, with some even becoming reclusive due to ill health or just a lack of energy to deal with day-to-day activities.

Seniors should be monitored from time to time to see how they are getting along as they age.

I agree with Dr Ng Wai Chong, chief of clinical affairs at Tsao Foundation, who said that social services should not target only the single elders who live alone.

Whatever living arrangements they are in, seniors should be assessed for social isolation.

Having money can help but cannot compensate for family support, which is of utmost importance in the later years.

Those in charge of social services should not forget about the seniors living in private properties and condominiums, as they may suffer from depression, ill heath and loneliness.

Shamim Moledina (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2016, with the headline 'Include all seniors in assessing social isolation'. Print Edition | Subscribe