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Where would you send your old folks?

March 24, 2009

This youtube video, I guess made in response to this piece of news, would have spread virally across the internet by now.

Nice tune.

From what I read, the idea of sending senior folks to nursing homes across the causeway was made with financial efficiency in mind as is expected of many of us Singaporeans.

That’s why I didn’t bat an eyelid when I first read about it. Its no secret, lots of people in the Republic treat their own folks as an irritation and an embarrassment. Some would rather let them fend for themselves in the streets so why all the righteous buzz all of a sudden? Isn’t it better to have them cared for in a proper well equipped home, never mind where, than have them be homeless?

Now would I do that to my parents? No I won’t, firstly because I don’t treat them as an irritation (I have no reason to) and secondly because we are fortunate enough financially to be able to keep the family together.

Not everyone is in the same situation, I know, but it can’t be let to reach the level of Hong Kong where some elderly are left to live in wire cages (I hope that has stopped).

But has anyone asked the senior folks for their opinion on this. Which would their prefer – living in a cramped HDB flat with their grown-up children who may not want them to be there, or in a more peaceful and spacious surrounding with professional care but away from their beloved family?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2009 11:29 am

    Most old people would prefer to stay with their grown up children unless the children have to work and nobody is at home. Then some actually send the parents to old folks home during daytime, and at night, bring them back home. But to leave them in old folks home to overnight or for long period of time….. i can’t tolerate that.

    As i always tell people – never ever forget your root.

    I guess its okay if one’s parents voluntarily want to go to a seniors home, maybe for the company as it can be lonely just sitting around all day not having anyone to talk to. What’s sad is if they are forced to go against their will.

  2. March 26, 2009 10:44 am

    I recall this classic Japanese tale:

    A father and son carried the grandfather up a mountainside in a big basket and left the feeble old man there. On the way down the son told the father they should take the basket back with them.

    “What for?” Asked the father.

    And the son replied, “When you get old like grandfather I’ll need to carry you up here too.”

    Yes I’ve heard of the tale. Self preservation at any cost seems to be part of the human makeup. Even our cells are programmed to self-preserve, proving (sadly) that biology has no morals, ethics or sentiments.

  3. March 26, 2009 10:55 am

    There are of course exceptions like this old ex-neighbor of mine, whose children had no choice but put him into an institution for everyone’s sake.

    Ah, that guy. I hope he’s happy there. 🙂

  4. tinytapir permalink
    March 28, 2009 10:20 am

    so many horror stories about how our generations treats their old folks. I’ve also heard about how when the grandparents were young enough the parents will use them as free labor to clean the house and look after the children, but after too sickly or old or the kids grew up, they throw the old grandparents to other siblings (“we looked after them for 20 years already now (that they’re old and sick) it’s your turn”)

    Honestly, I think elderly people need to be more selfish and not trust their kids anymore. If they save their $ and use it to buy a place in a nice old folks community and to save for their medical costs etc, instead of giving their kids loans for their education and first home loans, then maybe the kids would also not grow up expecting everything to be done for them and actually not take their parents for granted.

    As for me, I think by the time I’m really old and not able to live on my own I’d prefer to live in a nursing assisted community like those in Australia – at least there are same aged, same situation people living with me and we can b*tch about our children together, rather than b*tching at our adult children to their face. haha

    I think people’s short memories have a lot to do with the problem. Its impossible for humans to survive their first 12 years of their lives without the grace of their parents but all that is quickly forgotten when the first challenges of adulthood strikes, and worse when the tables are turned and the parents need their child’s support to survive. I’ve met people with family problems when I did some social work and it never ceases to amaze me how a mother can look after 5 kids but 5 kids, when they reach adulthood, cannot take care of one mother.

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