Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Look beyond financial help - Raymond Anthony Fernando's letter to The Straits Times (ST)

My letter to The ST gets published today, Tuesday 2nd Sept 2014.

I agree with the views expressed by social workers and academics on older Singaporeans who fall through the cracks despite the social policies in place (" 'Widen net of support scheme for seniors' "; Aug 20).

Thus, the new Silver Support scheme for the elderly poor is timely, given that many in this group would no longer be working and could do with some financial support.

Former Nominated MP Kanwaljit Soin has suggested that each Singapore resident over the age of 65 be given a monthly old age allowance of $200 ("Celebrate old age too with 'Silver Bonus' "; last Wednesday).

But what about those who are widowed and have no children to look after them in their old age? These people are isolated and require a network of support measures to see them through their remaining years.

There should be befrienders services as well as monthly flat cleaning services by volunteers, to help this group.

By keeping in close contact with these needy folk, we can ensure they do not succumb to depression and lose the will to live.

Raymond Anthony Fernando


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