Spend some quality time with elderly relatives

I live with my 84-year-old mother to keep her company, and have an 83-year-old aunt who lives with a maid.

My aunt called on several occasions, saying she would like to end her life. Reading between the lines, I think that she is feeling lonely more than anything else.

It was disheartening to read the Forum letters on elderly suicide. A number of the writers urged the Government to do more, sign up more volunteers or even legalise euthanasia.

I think many of us should ask ourselves what we can do. When did we last spend some quality time with our elderly parents?

A visit, a meal or even just a phone call to show our love to the elderly means more than anything else in the world to them.

Let's not look to the Government or volunteers to solve the elderly suicide problem.

If you have elderly people in the family or extended family, pick up the phone and give them a call.

Pay them a visit this week to show your love to them.

If there is past brokenness in the relationship, work on reconciliation.

I am sure the thought of suicide will not come to their minds when our elderly feel loved and appreciated.

Lim Kien Boon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2018, with the headline 'Spend some quality time with elderly relatives'. Print Edition | Subscribe