Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why can't we care for our elderly in Singapore??

Today's Straits Times carried a report by Cheryl Ong on the lack of space and facilities for old people at the centres that care for them.

Clearly the aging of our population is going to put all kinds of strains on our society both in terms of the costs involved, as well as the modification of our living space to accomodate more aging problems. The government has not been sleeping where this is concerned and I believe has been trying to find meaningful solutions to this burgeoning problem.
But I would like to suggest that the government is not doing enough. Principally, I believe, because it is locked in a mindset that frowns on anything that resembles their going down the 'social welfare' road. I think this is a restrictive and self defeating mindset. Some would say, anal retentive.

It's time we look at our elderly as people we should treasure and cherish and honour. I don't think anyone but the government would object to spending more tax-dollars on the elderly. I wish the government would stop harping on the increased costs to look after the elderly, and see it as a necessary part of the filial concerns of our society. I wish they would stop making the elderly feel that it is their fault that they live a long life... what a sin...and what a burden they place on society if they should live beyond 80...or beyond the reach of the Medisave.
Why can't the government just tell the elderly...that we, as a society, celebrate their longevity. That when they grow old, they deserve a rest, not just from work but from the worries of having to fend for themselves. Free from the need to be financially responsbible for their rent, their food or the medical bills. Is it that terrible if they should 'wrongfully' use more tax dollars for their medical bills?

I think this is what we, as a society, owe the elderly.

Can we afford the tax dollars? Of course we can. We just lost an unquantifiable lot of billion dollars because of Temasek and GIC. Could we not spend sone of those billions on making the elderly feel loved?

C'mon governement, stop being so anal retentive about this. Can you afford to be a bit more loving and a bit less calculative? O course you can.

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