Monday, December 16, 2013

Raymond Anthony Fernando’s letter to the press: Government should subsidise installation of CCTV cameras in homes of elderly

My letter on the above matter is published in MediaCorp’s Today newspaper today, Monday 16th December 2013.

Our doctors are seeing more elderly citizens who suffered a fall in their homes, which has contributed in some ways to the crunch in hospitals and rehabilitation centres.

Elderly folk with mobility problems and who are alone when their children go to work are at greater risk of falls. Although many people consider their homes safe, most accidents occur at home.

Generally, most of our senior citizens would prefer to be with their family than to spend their twilight years in nursing homes. There has thus been discussion on how to support them.

As several public housing blocks are being fitted with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras near the lifts to improve security for residents, I suggest that the Government also subsidise the installation of CCTV cameras in homes of elderly citizens if the families concerned are agreeable to this enhanced safety measure.

A sensor could be placed near the CCTV cameras, and the video and audio feed could be transmitted to the family members’ mobile phones or other gadgets.

If the elderly relative falls, an SOS signal or alert message could be immediately sent to them.

A home monitoring system will thus allow us to use technology to help us help ourselves.

Raymond Anthony Fernando


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Raymond's letter to The New Paper: MOTHER ARRESTED FOR MURDER- Jobless need more support

My letter to The New Paper on the above matter is published today – Wednesday 4th December 2013, page 13.

Like many others, I was heartbroken when I read   “Sea of sorrow” (The New Paper, Nov 27).

The mother of the 17-month-old has been arrested and faces a murder charge.  Her father said she lost her job recently. Now, one life has been lost and another hangs in the balance. 

Workers who have lost their jobs and those anxious over being laid off need help to cope as financial woes can push them into a dark corner.

Losing a job can push a person into denial, frustration and hopelessness.

During such periods, anxiety will cause the stress levels to shoot up, sometimes with tragic consequences.

There are agencies that can assist families trying to cope with such stress, but the authorities should do more to increase public awareness of the help that is available.

I would like to suggest the following measures to support laid-off workers.

When workers lose their jobs, employers must be required to notify the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). The information can then be passed on to the relevant family services centres and others to provide support measures.

The Member of Parliament concerned should also be kept informed so that financial assistance can be stepped up and home visits carried out.

This is important because some of the newly unemployed will be so despondent that they may not want to seek help.

Brochures with information on helplines and family service centres should also be more readily available for this group.



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Raymond A Fernando's letter to The Straits Times: Medisave boost for NSmen: Don't forget pioneers

My letter to The Straits Times on the above matter was published today, Tuesday 3rd December 2013.

Operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) now stand to receive either $9,000 or $10,500 for their contributions to the nation (“Medisave boost for NSmen?”; last Thursday). This would be a big morale booster for our NSmen and will motivate them to give their best for the country.

Our pioneer NSmen, many of whom are now in their 60s, have also made significant contributions to Singapore.  But why does it seem like they have been forgotten?

When NS was first introduced, NSmen did not have the luxury of catered meals and other benefits that the younger generation of NSmen enjoy.

Yet our pioneer NSmen, many of whom could be struggling with health-care issues, are not being considered for any Medisave payments.

Is it logical to raise the morale of the younger generation and demoralise our elderly folk?

Raymond Anthony Fernando