Caption: Ms Ng enjoys living in the comfort and familiarity of her home and neighbourhood
Retired cleaner and factory worker Ms Ng Wai Yee was stricken with polio when she was a child, affecting her eyesight and limiting her movements. Today, the 65-year-old still struggles with her vision and mobility which have worsened over the years. She also suffers from chronic illnesses, including diabetes, chronic hypertension and heart issues.
Due to her circumstances, she is unable to perform certain daily tasks like doing housework and keeping track of her medication.
Her frequent falls at home in her three-room flat also caused her to feel anxious all the time. Mdm Ng used to rely on a quad stick to move around. She has since switched to a walking frame when at home and a wheelchair when running errands outside.
“My legs feel weak and my balance is not great. It does not help that I can hardly see,” said Mdm Ng, adding: “I am always worried about what will happen if I fall again. I am not close to my siblings so I can only depend on myself.”
In 2016, Ms Ng was referred to TOUCH Cluster Support (TCLS) to coordinate her care at home as she became frailer. A volunteer was also roped in to visit Ms Ng each month to provide psychosocial support. Working together with TOUCH Home Care (THC), Ms Ng received help with housekeeping. As she has poor vision, THC’s nurse packs her daily medication – a cocktail of about 15 pills – into a pillbox to be consumed twice a day. Her blood pressure is also checked regularly. TCLS also worked with another service provider to provide Medical Escort and Transport service for Ms Ng’s medical appointments.
Recently, Ms Ng started home therapy to strengthen her leg muscles to help her walk more steadily. A four-wheel rollator will also be prescribed to improve her endurance and standing balance when navigating outdoors.
Caption: Ms Ng (right) with healthcare associate Mdm Han Ee Loo
Caption: Learning to navigate the neighbourhood safely with the help of physiotherapist Ms Yap May Yee
Building confidence and connecting with others
Caption: Ms Ng (right) with social worker Ms Joy Cheong (left) at a support group to help seniors overcome the loss of one's functioning ability.
Caption: Ms Ng enjoying the company of seniors at TOUCH's active ageing centre at Yishun Blk 162
As Ms Ng enjoys connecting with others, she was encouraged to join the activities at TOUCH’s active ageing centre in her neighbourhood.
“I like to be in the company of other seniors. I do not want to be cooped up at home the whole day. Going out keeps my mind active. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, I am able to check the bus number and can get the help I need running errands in my neighbourhood,” added Ms Ng.
Last year, when Ms Ng had to undergo a heart surgery and was feeling anxious, TCLS’ social worker accompanied her in the hospital and addressed her concerns.
Enjoying peace of mind
Being alone, Ms Ng constantly worries about her future care needs when she no longer has the mental capacity to make decisions. When she learnt about the services provided by TOUCH Professional Deputies and Donees, she readily appointed TOUCH as her Professional Donee.
“I am familiar with the people from TOUCH so it is easy for me to share with them my concerns and wishes in life. They are like my friends and I trust them. Every time when I have an issue, I will bring it up and we will try and solve the problem together. I know I can count on them,” said Ms Ng.
Caption: A CapitaLand volunteer taking part in the recent Home Improvement Project as part of the #LoveOurSeniors initiative
In August this year, a group of staff volunteers from CapitaLand cleaned her home and replaced some old furniture with new ones, including a bed, a washing machine and a cabinet. Thanks to CapitaLand Hope Foundation’s #LoveOurSeniors initiative, which cares for the vulnerable seniors in the community and improves their quality of life, seniors like Ms Ng, who face daily life challenges and lack adequate support due to family circumstances, can look forward to a safer and more conducive home environment.