What Companionship Means to our Elders
Showing Care for our Elderly
The idea of loneliness in older adults is something that is often taken for granted; we know it’s something that our elders might be facing, but we’re not taking many steps to change it. In fact, loneliness in the elderly is an issue which needs to be addressed.
In 2016 and 2017, nationally representative data collected from more than 2,000 older Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents indicated that 34% perceived themselves to be lonely. The proportion increased with age, from 32% among those aged 60-69 years, to 40% among those aged 80 years and above.
As our seniors get older, their human interaction decreases due to a myriad of reasons such as mobility limitations and retirement from the workforce.
When we visited one of our beneficiaries, Mr Shah, 79, we heard about how thankful he is to have caring family members, and how much their companionship means to him.
Mr Shah stays alone in a quaint 3-room flat in Bedok. Our team previously met him in early 2022 and had the joy of meeting him again in August 2022.
Despite his old age, Mr Shah exercises daily by walking to the shops across his block - something many elders his age do not have the privilege of doing. Mr Shah occasionally spends time with the friends he meets downstairs. He feels really blessed for his good health and requests for our duas to continue praying for his health.
Mr Shah currently has a pacemaker implanted in his chest, after he had heart issues many years ago. His right hand frequently shakes and this impedes him from doing certain activities such as cooking.
Everyday after Zohor, he travels by bus to his younger brother’s house nearby. Due to his condition, his brother cooks lunch for him everyday.
Mr Shah teared up when he shared how his nephew cares for him and accompanies him to his medical appointments. When he was warded, his nephew came every day after work to accompany him, taking care of his needs and settling the hospital bills for him.
"He will always ask me to wait until he arrives. Alhamdulillah, my nephew is very kind and shows care and concern for me. If not, it’s very difficult for me. I am only familiar with going to and fro my brother’s house. For me to go to other places, I don’t know how to. Even when friends invite me to a wedding, I have to decline,” Mr Shah expressed earnestly.
It was clear to us that Mr Shah is very grateful for the family members who greatly care for him.
“Every month, I get aid from Global Ehsan Relief, Alhamdulillah. If not, I don’t have any other help. One of my other nephews told me, ‘just call me anytime’,” Mr Shah said, teary-eyed.
Want to help touch more lives like Mr Shah’s? You can do that through our Care for Elderly projects, which includes a one-time donation of an Elderly Care Package worth $150, or support to an elder living alone through our Adopt an Elder project at $200 monthly to provide - meals, groceries, financial assistance and cleaning services.