She's 91, has dementia - and is also a caregiver

More families face care crisis as more 'old old' are caring for 'young old': Experts

For the past 40 years, Madam Ang Swee Huay has been caring for her two children, who have mental illnesses. Last year, the 91-year-old was diagnosed with dementia and all three of them had to move in to a nursing home together.
Madam Ang Swee Huay (right), 91, with her son Cheong Poh Fatt, 56, and daughter Cheong Mee Choo, 57, at St Andrew's Nursing Home. Madam Ang now has stage three cancer, as well as dementia. Her son suffers from schizophrenia, while her daughter has po
Madam Ang Swee Huay (right), 91, with her son Cheong Poh Fatt, 56, and daughter Cheong Mee Choo, 57, at St Andrew's Nursing Home. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Former cleaner Ang Swee Huay is 91 years old and should have been able to put her feet up a long time ago. But she has spent much of the past 40 years caring for her two mentally ill children who used to live with her in their four-room flat in Hougang.

Son Cheong Poh Fatt, 56, has schizophrenia, and daughter Cheong Mee Choo, 57, has polio and depression. Both have been afflicted since their teenage years.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2019, with the headline 'She's 91, has dementia - and is also a caregiver'. Subscribe