By Hua Mei Centre for Successful Ageing

Madam Lim, a 91-year-old widow, had been living with her taxi driver son since she lost her daughter in a fatal traffic accident more than 20 years ago. The elderly lady suffered another devastating blow when her son succumbed to a sudden heart attack in February 2015. He had previously been her main caregiver, attending to her day-to-day needs. Madam Lim is currently wheelchair bound, as a result of the various medical conditions she suffers from, and requires assistance with daily activities such as taking a bath.

The Hua Mei Coaching & Counselling (HMCC) team was alerted to provide assistance to Madam Lim following the untoward passing of her son. A referral had been made to the Hua Mei Mobile Clinic as she required a home care team to look into her medical and social needs. The HMCC team helped to sort through her son’s internet and mobile phone bills, as well as her utility bills. A fixed telephone line was set up which would enable her to call for help whenever the need arose as she lives on her own.

In addition, the HMCC team guided Madam Lim in tapping into various schemes such as the Interim Disability Assistance Programme for the Elderly and the Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme to help her make ends meet. A quarterly donation of diapers also helps to defray some of her expenses.

Going the extra mile in people-centric care, the HMCC team helped to facilitate Madam Lim’s wish of seeing a picture of her son’s niche at Mandai Columbarium. During the seventh lunar month in 2015, the team made offerings on behalf of Madam Lim for her son. When she heard about it, she felt that she had no other regrets and would be at peace when the time comes for her to pass on.

Through partnerships with other service providers, such as Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society which provides home help services, and Agency for Integrated Care which facilitated the coordination work between different care providers, we will continue to support Madam Lim’s independence and quality of life as she continues living on her own at home.

Key Learning Points:

  1. Knowledge of various public assistance schemes available enables us to refer clients to the appropriate channels for help.
  2. In addition to supporting their daily needs, helping to fulfil the client’s heartfelt wishes goes a long way in providing comfort and closure.
  3. Partnerships with other service providers and agencies enable clients to continue living alone independently.