Monday, February 16, 2009

Raymond’s letter in the NEW PAPER, Monday 16th Feb 2009.

Placing old folks in JB nursing homes not a viable option

I am deeply disappointed that Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan has suggested that elderly Singaporeans who fall sick could choose to live in nursing homes in Johor Bahru where costs are cheaper.

Although placing these elderly folks in JB nursing homes is an option open for Singaporeans, the signals that are being sent clearly shows a lack of compassion for our senior citizens.

It appears that when you are old and grey, nobody wants you, and this really saddens me.

Many senior citizens who suffer from chronic illnesses are isolated, and fall into depression.

History has clearly shown that a number of them lose the will to live when their children abandon them.

How is caregiving in Singapore to be taken to a higher level when our sick elderly are asked to live outside their own country - a place where they had toiled with their blood, sweat and tears?

What messages are we sending to the young at a time when the Government wants to promote volunteerism and a caring society?

Though it is a difficult task, caregiving should be promoted, as it is a noble job.

If millions of dollars are being spent to build casinos, why can’t some money be invested to build affordable nursing homes here in Singapore?

Moreover, the massive traffic jams at the causeway and worries about security in JB have to be taken into account.

Thus, institutionalising old folks in nursing homes in JB is not a viable option.


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