My press letter to Mediacorp’s TODAY newspaper on the above subject is published today, Tuesday 24th October 2017.
I am glad that President Halimah Yacob is considering inviting more ordinary Singaporeans to the Istana (“More opportunities being explored for public to visit Istana”; Oct 22).
I urge her to invite to the Istana caregivers, past and present, as well as seniors who live alone either at an open house or to have tea with her. That is a good way to build an inclusive society.
Caregivers hardly have time to relax and enjoy some form of recreation, especially when they have to take care of a loved one who is trying to cope with a physical or mental health condition, at almost all hours of the day.
Everyone needs to understand that caregivers who make much sacrifices need to do things that brings joy into their isolated world.
This is the same case of the elderly lonely who are lonely, lack key social support and cannot afford to spend on outings.
Engaging in joyful activities and making friends is so important for these two groups, to help lift the human spirit.
At the end of the day, true relaxation is all about connecting with people from all walks of life.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO