I am encouraged that at the opening of the 13th Parliament, President Tony Tan assured Singaporeans that the elected government will develop and deliver on sound policies, strengthen the country and bring people together, as was done 50 years ago where sound policies helped improve the lives of our citizens.
And one group of citizens that must always be remembered and cherished are our senior citizens who are trying to cope with chronic illnesses – be it in nursing homes are in hospitals.
Most certainly, helping to provide a good structural support scheme for caregivers whose aged relatives are residing in nursing homes can help to improve the lives of our pioneers who have contributed to the growth of our economy.
In his effort to encourage the younger generation to marry and procreate, the government has implemented parental leave for the married fathers. This would help ease the load off young working mothers who often take on more of child care support.
There are hundreds of seniors who reside in nursing homes as they have severe mobility issues and sicknesses which their children find difficult to strike a balance between working life and caregiving.
Workers these days have to work long and draining hours and it is a reality that not many can visit their aged parents at the nursing homes or if they are hospitalised for a long period.
To this end, I propose that the government implements a few days leave for workers to visit their parents in the homes or hospitals so that time off can be taken to promote filial piety. To ensure that the system is not abused, the staff caring for the aged can provide an attendance chit that can be submitted to the employer.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO