News from the media
Help a 66 year old elderly get by life
Source: ROHI/ Shu Ying
Date: Jan 18, 2018
Mr Chong, 66 years old, is an elderly living in a rental flat. Like many other elderly living in isolation, Mr Chong often finds himself staring at his ceiling, constricted to the 4 walls of his tiny rental flat. He confided in us that he often feels helpless, lonely, and bleak about the future. Mr Chong recalled that the house used to be much livelier, it used to be filled with infectious laughter and there used to be more than just him in it. He shared that he was living with his mum and his two brothers before they passed on. It wasn’t easy taking in the deaths of his family members, especially when he shared a close and intimate relationship with his two brothers who supported him emotionally and financially. Now, he has no one left to turn to. Living in isolation has also caused Mr Chong to be diagnosed with depression. He is still seeing his psychiatrist frequently and is reliant on medication to contain his depression. His younger sister is struggling to support her own family and thus could not render him any form of assistance, leaving him with no choice but to be reliant on Social Service Office for monthly support. Living a frugal life, Mr Chong was contented with the $500 that he received monthly. He shared that he was able to make ends meet then, after settling the utility bill, rental, food expenses etc. However, his health took a negative turn when he got older and complications arise as the support from SSO soon became insufficient. Suddenly he found himself in medical debt. He was diagnosed with severe asthma, hepatitis B, high blood pressure and heart condition. Frequent trips to and fro the hospital further depleted his limited savings. Things got worse when he had a fall on the streets in October last year. Mr Chong sprained his legs as a result of the accident. To make matters worse, his IC, phone and wallet were also stolen. Mr Chong is now reliant on crutches and has difficulties with activities of daily living. He told us that he had no money to visit the doctor and can only afford to visit the Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic who do not charge for their services. He also has overdue housing arrears to settle. Mr Chong is uncertain about the future and is worried about how to get by life. He is also afraid that all this stress from worrying will aggravate his depression. ROHI would like to raise S$1200 (S$300 per month for four months) to help defray Mr Chong’s medical and living expenses. Your kind contribution will go a long way towards lightening Mr Chong's financial burdens.
News from our Past Cases
Mother of two special needs children appeals for help
Date: Jan 02, 2018
Madam Zanizah, 49 years old, has been tirelessly taking care of her two special needs children, Saifullah (19) and Syafiq (17). Saifullah was diagnosed with chronic lung disease and developmental problems since he was eight years old. Syafiq, the younger of the two sons, was diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, chronic epilepsy fits issues and intellectual disability. The selfless giving of a loving mother to her children after her divorce has left Madam Zanizah to take on the role of being the sole breadwinner of the family as the children’s biological father does not pay regular maintenance for his children’s medical and living expenses. Despite the stress of not being able to put food on the table for the family, Madam Zanizah also worries constantly about her 82-year old mother who was diagnosed with stage four dementia. Her condition has worsened over the years and she is now barely able to recognize her family members. On days that she throws tantrums, she will sometimes complain that Madam Zanizah is unable to provide her with a good life, and although this hurts Madam Zanizah, she has never once lamented about the situation that she is in now. Madam Zanizah used to work as a cashier at a supermarket, earning a net income of S$1,600 per month. However, she was forced to stop work about four months ago when Syafiq started falling sick often and she had to bring him for medical appointments frequently. Her heavy responsibilities of being the main caregiver to her aged mother and children who needed her undivided attention constantly soon took a negative toll on Madam Zanizah’s health. Madam Zanizah herself has mild diabetes and struggles with swollen legs, and is currently on medication for her diabetes. Despite the emotional struggles and physical fatigue that she goes through alone, Madam Zanizah greeted the ROHI staff with a huge smile when they visited her. Saifullah was quietly sitting in a corner and smiled whenever his name was mentioned. He also nodded when Madam Zanizah explained to him about the importance of helping out with the household chores as well as to help in taking care of his younger brother. She also shared with us that although Syafiq is unable to express himself verbally, he smiles at her whenever she feeds him and such gestures of love from her children is enough to keep her going. She strongly believes that every child has their strengths and no parent should give up on their children. The journey of constantly carrying for her elderly mum and not one, but two special needs children might seem depressing at times, but the love of Madam Zanizah towards her mother and children is unconditional. ROHI would therefore like to raise S$342 per month for three months defray Madam Zanizah’s expenses for the family’s transport (S$242) and Syafiq’s diapers (S$100).