“100 facilities for the elderly to be built in estates” and sites within neighborhoods identified for first batch of centers – That is the headline on last Saturday’s local newspaper. Minister of Health Gan Kim Yong made the official announcement.
It’s going to cost the government about $500 million and will be ready by 2016 just in time for the next GE. It’s cleverly timed for the coming GE.
Up till now, not much is done for our aging population. So far, they only worried about our growing aging population and the “decline” in our economy. Lots of measures are done to boost up the vitality and vibrancy of our fast aging population by getting more new citizens and some half-hearted measures to boost up our low fertility rate.
When I read the announcement, I felt elated. Quietly, I thank this government for doing the right thing. When I read further, there is some apprehension on the part of the government that the well-intentioned plan might backfire due to the “not in my backyard syndrome!” mentality of some of our selfish citizens.
How sad! There are citizens amongst us who do not appreciate such priceless facilities for our own aged parents, relatives and friends living amongst us. There are citizens who want to fully utilize such facilities but refuse to live near them fearing that their property prices might be affected!
It is partly the government’s fault for fueling the greed of such selfish citizens with materialistic ideas like flat upgrading, estate enhancements, controlling the property market by building fewer flats and opening the floodgates for more immigrants etc… I always believe that HDB flat is meant for us to live and not to speculate on profits. It is a home filled with fond memories and we need to treasure them. We just don’t shift flat every few years just to make some profits and end up paying even more for a subsequent flat? Maybe, it’s the only way to dip into their CPF to enjoy early cash withdrawals rather than having it locked away forever. Sadly, this is the root cause of the greed and avarice pervading in every echelon of our society.
My parents are getting older and weaker. My father is 75 yrs and my mother is 70 yrs. I live with my parents. I’m not that well off. I need to work most of the time to earn a decent living. People like me, normal average wage earner really need the 100 facilities badly. Not now but very soon when my parents get older and infirm.
“For having the gall to say the things they said, I’m sure people like Seet Ker Lay, Bernard Lau, Cheong Weng Kit, Hay-Ku – who are not exactly spring chickens – and their ilk will live forever. I’m sure they’ll always have filial children to take care of them for the rest of their lives, that they will never grow old, or wear adult diapers because their devoted kids will be fighting with each other to wipe their sorry asses; I’m sure these guys will never stain their sheets when they are senile, bedridden and drooling away while attempting to speak, incoherently of course.”
“Don’t groan right into my home!”- By Lohcifer.
The above is eloquently written by Lohcifer. It is part of life cycle – getting old, sick and passing on. No one can escape this perpetual life cycle.面对生老病死中的死亡。如何去正视？ Whether you are rich or poor or whether you are the emperor or pauper, this is the ultimate life cycle; sooner or later you will have to go through it. Yes, some go thru’ that earlier than others. The rich with tons of money go thru’ it comfortably, whereas the poor will need government or charity for assistance.
My aged parents are now fit and healthy. Soon, the day will come when the inevitable happens. The clutch of the death grip will slowly but surely find it’s way to everyone of us. Can we run away from it?
I’m now coming to 50 yrs old. I’m filial to my parents. But will my son be filial to me? In another 20 yrs, it’s going to be my turn entering into this dreadful phase – just before the finishing line. Can I cope even if I’m filial to my parents? Remember, I need to earn a decent living working my ass out! That’s a constant worry at the back of my mind.
Transport costs especially taxi fare will get more and more expensive especially with our COEs hitting through the roof. To get the whole family to visit the elderly in a far away nursing home will surely cost us a bomb. The travel time taken is another factor. Rather than site those facilities in a hidden corner, why not build them within the neighborhood? It makes more sense right?
If only the nursing home for the aged is built right at my block’s void deck, I could visit my parents – in the event that they become senile and infirm – everyday before going back home! Save lots of time and transport cost. It will make my life more bearable when I’ve to struggle looking after them.
If those selfish citizens object to nursing homes for the elderly near to their place, I will appeal to the government to build them under my flat at the void deck. Pls build day care centre, nursing home or any other amenity for the elderly at my block’s void deck or within my HDB estate.
I may have my own selfish reasons in supporting building amenities for the elderly at my block’s void deck due to my aged parents’ needs. But then, I’m also getting older each day. Soon, it’s going to my turn. Maybe, I could collect rent from my flat above to pay for a bed in a nursing home at the void deck. It’s such an ideal arrangement. I’ll have professionals looking after me and many elderly friends around me to keep me company instead of getting a maid to look after me. My son need not worry about me. He could just drop by once in a while to keep in touch. I would be independent and not a burden to him. He could lead his own life and pursue his own interests.
Imagine if the nursing home is built far away somewhere in Timbuktu, how could I monitor my own flat and keep track of rent collection? Let’s not forget that those living nearby could also seek employment as care givers, cleaners or ambulance drivers etc in the nursing home within the same neighbourhood. There are so many benefits from such an arrangement. We should welcome such elderly facilities rather than object them.
Yes, I wish the government will build more facilities for the elderly, childcare centres, nursery centres, library, schools in my neighbourhood or whatever that is planned by them. Citizens in other countries petition their governments to build more such facilities but here we are objecting for our own selfish reasons. If anyone organises a petition against it, I will counter it by getting like-minded residents to rally around me.
As humans, we will grow old and die one day. Let us help each other along the way – the young and the old should live together appreciating the value of our precious life. Look beyond the materialistic aspect to lead a purposeful and fulfilling life filled with care and love. We should start by lending our full support to the government’s efforts. For without our support, the government’s efforts will be an exercise in futility. There will be no warmth, compassion or humanity in the hardware facilities for our elderly within our midst. It will surely fail without us putting in reciprocal efforts to whatever ambitious plan the government is rolling out.