Elderly folk

Seniors living alone can establish 'circles of care'

It is a sad situation when an elderly person dies alone (Attending to elderly folk who live or die alone, Sept 12).

Some seniors do have children, but as they are busy at work and have their own children to take care of, expecting them to be able to ensure the safety of their elderly parents on a daily basis can be quite difficult.

It is up to the fairly healthy elderly to take care of themselves.

An overseas friend of mine suggested the following system for the elderly to check on one another.

Party A calls Party B once a day, Party B calls Party C once a day, and Party C completes the circle of care by calling Party A once a day.

Each party would also give the others his "in case of emergency" contact for situations in which he cannot be reached. The size of the circle can change depending on what the group is comfortable with.

Should, for example, Party C fail to call Party A due to forgetfulness or injury, Party A would call Party C to check if he is all right, and call Party C's emergency contact if Party C cannot be reached.

Rina Tan Gek Hwa

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2021, with the headline 'Seniors living alone can establish 'circles of care''. Subscribe