My letter to The Straits Times on the above matter is published today, Monday 19th January 2015.
The new law announced by the Minister for Social and Family Development (MSF) Chan Chun Sing to protect vulnerable adults who are unable to care for themselves is long overdue (“Vulnerable Adults Act to include protection for self-neglect cases”; ST Online, last Thursday).
Adults who have lost their loved ones and lack family support, and who are finding it hard to cope due to lack of resources need the full extent of support from the Government and the community.
In addition, all religious groups must play their part in rallying around these people, who should not be made to feel isolated and neglected as this can lead to dire consequences.
When my late wife was alive, there was some form of assistance such as cleaning services, befriender services and home visits from the community psychiatry department of the Institute of Mental Health. But the moment she died, all forms of support ended as well.
Why should this be the case?
Recently, when I came down with a virus for more than two weeks, I struggled to get my meals and ended up writing a flurry of letters to appeal for help.
All government agencies, including the Ministry of Health, must work with the MSF to bring about improvements in the care of vulnerable adults so that they can live with dignity and purpose.
Raymond Anthony Fernando