Caption: Mr Ng’s cheerful and jovial demeanour has kept him happy and positive
“I try not to think too much about things... What’s important is to have people whom you can talk to, like your neighbour, or even strangers whom you have never met before. Life can still be hopeful and interesting."
Mr Ng Ee Bak, 96, is a familiar sight at Blk 61, a rental flat in Geylang Bahru. Every day, he would sit on the bench outside TOUCHpoint@Geylang Bahru, chatting happily with TOUCH staff and residents. Although almost all his peers have passed on, Mr Ng has no lack of friends in the neighbourhood.
The former hawker and market stall holder has eight children and some 20 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a caregiver to his bedridden wife until she passed on more than a decade ago. Mr Ng has remained healthy until six years ago when he was hospitalised. TOUCH Home Care has been supporting him with home nursing and medical escort and transport services.
Caption: Mr Ng (left) catching up with TOUCH staff Ms Christina Ooi (right)
Caption: Mr Ng (1st from right) interacting with volunteers from Mlion Corporation (left) and TOUCH staff (2nd from right). Photo Credit: Mlion Corporation
“I have lived in Geylang Bahru for a few decades! I am familiar with so many residents. I enjoy interacting with both young and old because I have so much to share. People are always fascinated with my life story especially the youth volunteers. They are always asking so many questions. I enjoy these conversations as they keep my mind active,” said Mr Ng.
Caption: Mr Ng (middle) enjoying his interactions with student volunteers from the NUS Students' Community Service Club
Mr Ng’s favourite activities at the centre include Bingo, outings and festive celebrations. He always looks forward to the volunteer students from the National University of Singapore’s Students' Community Service Club who would visit him every week. He is also observant of his surroundings and would alert the centre staff if he detects anything amiss.
When asked how he has remained youthful all these years, he said, “I try not to think too much about things. Even when bad things happen in your life, don’t brood over it. Just move on and stay positive. What’s the point of worrying? What’s important is to have people whom you can talk to, like your neighbour, or even strangers whom you have never met before. Life can still be hopeful and interesting,” said Mr Ng.
Story published in 2023