Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Care centres for the elderly - Why Complain?

Today, Monday, February 13, 2012, Page 16, Voices
From http://imcmsimages.mediacorp.sg/CMSFileserver/documents/006/PDF/20120213/1302SGC016.pdf
Source Website:
http://www.todayonline.com/Voices/EDC120213-0000015/Care-centres-for-the-elderly-Why-complain? (Texts)
http://www.aarhus.dk/da/sitecore/content/Subsites/CityOfAarhus/Home/activityareas/Family-and-health/Elderly-Care.aspx (Photos)
http://www.squidoo.com/heartprints (Photos)
By Tabitha Wang, 04:45 AM Feb 13, 2012

PHOTO: A Dream: quality housing facilities in the local residential and activity centres for the elderly.

I don't know what the residents of Blocks 860 and 861, Woodlands Street 83, have to complain about.

If I were living there, I would welcome having a daycare centre for the elderly in my void deck - because that means I will never have to leave my neighbourhood when I start losing my memory and bladder control.

Imagine the bliss 20 or 30 years on, when all I have to do is totter downstairs for my meals, entertainment and conversation. The same old faces, the same sundry shop...

Humans are creatures of habit. And as we age, we get more and more set in our ways.

My husband's offer of a transfer to Hong Kong came when I was in my mid-30s and even then I had to think long and hard about the move. If it had come in my 20s, I no doubt would have been packed and at Changi by the next morning.

There were so many things I'd have to leave behind - not just family and friends but familiar food and places. I'd have to start all over again to find new favourites and make new friends.

It was a scary prospect. Think of how much scarier it would be if you were in your 70s and had to move to somewhere that could offer you better eldercare.

PHOTO: The Seeker
".... Helping An Old Man:
I clothed an elderly man, and gave
Him shelter from the cold,
The trembling smile upon his lips,
Was lovely to behold.

I Have Found It:

My questing heart was filled with joy,
I came to understand,
Each time I helped someone in need,
I touched the Master's hand."
By Julie E. Jones, Poems of Inspiration

My parents resisted moving in with my brother and sister-in-law for close to 10 years. It was only after my father had his angioplasty (a procedure used to open blocked or narrowed coronary (heart) arteries) and collapsed in the house with only my mother in attendance that they grudgingly agreed to take up residence in the spare bedroom.

They were only in their 60s then but, having lived in the same house for 30-odd years, they had huge difficulties adapting - especially my dad, who missed his friends.

The two places weren't far apart. My dad could, if he wanted to, drive to meet his friends at their usual kopitiam every day. But the traffic and driving wore him down and after his second angioplasty, the doctor warned him to take it easy. So no more daily drives for him.

Every day, he'd listlessly walk in the garden for a bit but then everything became too much effort. He started talking about being useless and us having to prepare for his dying. Thanks to his new grandson, though, he's started to find new interest in life again.

" ...... I am looking past my circumstances, to Heaven's throne above........"
By Eric Geoffrey Plott, Poems of Inspiration

I used to live in Tanjong Pagar, the GRC with the highest number of older HDBs. The block I was living in was built in the 1960s.

Despite the fact that the mature estate had become yuppified, many of the original inhabitants were still around.

This meant that almost every week, there would be a funeral in the void deck. I'd come home to red paper stuck above the lift buttons and chrysanthemum tea packets strewn all over.

PHOTO: When Tomorrow Starts Without Me
"..... But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you...."
By Author Unknown, Poems of Inspiration

Some of the residents would grumble about tracking bad luck to their door but it wouldn't be much more than a half-hearted moan. Most actually liked the feeling of continuity.

You could walk downstairs and talk to an Ah Pek about the days when residents marvelled at having running water in their flats. "Ah Gu's son became a mechanic and married Ah Ying's daughter who trained as a beautician and look, that's their son, all dressed up in his nice uniform going to National Service," he'd say.

Without You
PHOTO: Without You
"...... The wounds will heal in time,
Lives will go on, yours and mine.
My Lord will help me through,
Help me find my way without you.

And Life Goes On!"
By Melva, Poems of Inspiration

In Hong Kong recently, there was news about an elderly couple who had to be separated after being married for 50 years because the wife, who was senile, had to go into a nursing home. They didn't have space for the husband.

His dilemma was whether to accept the enforced separation or refuse the place and continue trying to look after her despite being feeble himself. It was the saddest story.

About a week ago, the Hong Kong Housing Society launched Joyous Living, a retirement scheme for affluent senior citizens who pay upfront to live in an elder-friendly environment.

Welcome to 2012. This is going to be an exciting and busy year. We are looking forward to the new year and all the promise it holds as we walk with our Lord and Saviour throughout the year.
PHOTO: Welcome to 2012. This is going to be an exciting and busy year. We are looking forward to the new year and all the promise it holds as we walk with our Lord and Saviour throughout the year.
".... Faith in the Word, though some folks call you a fool,
I wish you Faith for this coming new year......... "
From: Poems of Inspiration

Response has been lukewarm. Given a choice, I guess people would rather live in the old-fashioned but familiar home they've had for 50-odd years than move to a modern, unfamiliar place.

Everyone grows old, there's no escaping that. So isn't it great to know that if you lived in Blocks 860 and 861, you'll never have to deal with moving house and making new friends?
By Tabitha Wang, 04:45 AM Feb 13, 2012

Tabitha Wang lives in Hong Kong but still dreams of retiring in a nice little HDB flat in Singapore.

PHOTO: Never Worry
".... Never worry, enjoy this beautiful day
Forget frustrations, let them slip away
Fill this day with happiness and love
Thank God for all blessings from above."
By Glenn M. Baugh, Poems of Inspiration

PHOTO: Everyone grows old, there's no escaping that.
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