Forum: Support for the elderly greatly improved

Healthcare assistants assisting the elderly at Ghim Moh Senior Care Centre.
Healthcare assistants assisting the elderly at Ghim Moh Senior Care Centre.PHOTO: ST FILE

Much thanks should go to the Government, self-help groups, agencies, grassroots leaders and volunteers for there being better insight into and care for our ageing population.

Support for the elderly have burgeoned tremendously over the last five years.

I was at the Singapore General Hospital last Friday, and at the exit of the underpass in the direction of National Cancer Centre, I saw a passer-by and a healthcare worker in blue scrubs taking the time to help an elderly woman who was frozen in place, hunched and facing the ground with a walking stick.

Using dialect to communicate with the elderly woman, both tried to find out if she was alone or accompanied, and if she was all right.

Were we not as aware of the plight of seniors as we are now, I wonder if we would dare to approach seniors who appear to be ill and alone in public spaces.

The two good Samaritans stood out from the crowd by taking the time to help.

I am sure the Government, grassroots leaders, agencies and other self-help groups will press on and help us in the areas of dementia caregiving and extended support for single caregivers of elderly parents who also need to work.

Together, let's continue to care for vulnerable seniors and seniors with dementia or special needs.

Juliana Ang Hiok Lian

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2019, with the headline 'Support for the elderly greatly improved'. Print Edition | Subscribe