Friday, June 19, 2009

NURSING HOMES: Whatever happened to compassion?

This letter was published in the NEW PAPER on Friday 19 June 2009.

I refer to the article, “ One day's stay, one month's fee” (The New Paper,17 June).

I am disturbed about the plight of the elderly woman whose family was billed one month's fee for her one day stay at the Orange Valley Nursing Home.

People place their elderly sick relatives in homes because they don't have a choice.

The No 1 one priority for hospitals and homes should be to take care of the sick and lead them on the road to recovery.

This is what makes for a caring and compassionate society.

At a time when many Singaporeans are losing their jobs and finding it so hard to cope with rising costs, shouldn't the sick and their family members be shown more compassion?

With the sudden passing of Madam Tan Kim Hong, her family members should receive more compassion and support.

The family is in bereavement and they would need to fork out money for the funeral expenses.

So, please, let's learn to be more understanding.

I am also shocked to learn that the Our Lady of Lourdes Nursing Home does not refund residents the balance from the mandatory deposit if they chose to leave early.

Who makes these rules that puts residents at a clear disavantage?

All nursing homes in Singapore should only bill patients for the exact number of days that the patient stays in the homes.

A complete review and change of all policies on nursing homes should be undertaken so that our fast-ageing population are given better support and care.

Let us create a compassionate society where people learn to feel the suffering of those in need, taking the cue from what the Dalai Lama once said: “You are the people who are shaping a better world. One of the secrets of inner peace is practice of compassion.”


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