Learning > Inspiration

Seniors helping seniors in MacPherson

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Charmaine Soh on 12 Jul 2017

The New Paper

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Now in their 60s, Madam Rosemary Lim Moh Tin and Mr Anthony Lim Thiam Poh used to live in MacPherson but have since moved to Pasir Ris.

 

The semi-retired couple are part of the National Healthcare GroupNeighbours' Programme, where volunteers provide social and medical support for vulnerable elderly patients.

 

The couple also serve in the Citizens' Consultative Committeein MacPherson.

 

Mr Lim, 63, told The New Paper: "We used to live here. Both of us also met here and our children were born here, so it brings back good memories."

 

MacPherson, a mature estate, has its fair share of elderly and low-income families.

 

Madam Lim, 60, said: "We do a lot of house visits here so we understand the profile of this place and its needs.

 

"We want to help out as much as we can, hoping we can do our small part to make life a little bit better."

 

The two met in 1972 through a youth group that helped residents in the MacPherson area. They married in 1980.

 

Circuit Road resident Tan Kee Seng, 92, who suffers from breathlessness, sees the Lims once a month. They keep him company and help track his health progress.

 

Mr Tan said: "I am happy when they come to visit because I don't have many real friends."

 

There are now more programmes for seniors to socialise with others.

 

The Kopitiam Diaries is a community-led initiative at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, where volunteers socialise with the elderly in a coffee-shop setting.

 

Dr Ow Chee Chung, its chief executive officer, said the group has seen more senior volunteers (aged 41 to 60) in the past three years.

 

Dr Adeline Chuo, senior consultant, department of geriatric medicine at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, said elderly patients will better identify with elderly volunteers.

 

"They may be able to share their life stories and experiences with them (the volunteers)."

 

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