Ageism

Difficult finding home to rent for mum who uses wheelchair

I could not agree more with director of Assisted Living Facilities Association Belinda Wee that policies and mindsets about ageism need to change in Singapore (Review if policies and mindsets are ageist, March 23).

I am the sole caregiver to my 92-year-old mother. I have been trying to find her a home to rent for the past two months and have contacted approximately 30 agents and properties in this search.

Once landlords find out that my mother uses a wheelchair, they flatly deny me a viewing. I am not even able to assess the property for suitability.

I have been able to secure two viewings during this time, only to be told that the landlord did not feel comfortable.

When I ask for the reason I am denied viewings, I am told that I do not fit the requirements.

I never imagined that it would be this difficult to secure a rental property for my aged mother.

We have one of the fastest-ageing populations in the world, yet our own landlords, who themselves may be older, are denying other seniors a comfortable home to live in during their final years.

Also, when I tell landlords that I am semi-retired, they tell me that they prefer PMET (professional, manager, executive and technician) tenants. I feel that I am being discriminated against due to my age.

The clock is ticking and I have yet to find a suitable home for my mother. I do hope some landlords will reconsider who they rent to.

With the fast-ageing population, the issue of ageism is one that warrants attention.

I hope that the mindsets of the younger generation and landlords will change with the times.

It is extremely stressful going through this process.

Shirin Aroozoo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2021, with the headline 'Difficult finding home to rent for mum who uses wheelchair'. Subscribe