According to Betty Friedan, “Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength”. This is especially true in the case of a very wonderful woman, Madam Bee. At 74, she had experienced the difficulties of life. But despite these challenges, she remained strong, resilient, and continues to love life.
There are people who cannot bear the thought of leaving their parents, especially during old age. For Madam Bee, spending the rest of her life with her mom living in a two-bedroom apartment at Aljunied Crescent was a dream come true. Nothing can compare with the joy of being there for each other, of taking care of her mom the way she used to care for her too as a child.
Madam Bee would cook for her mother and herself, spend the afternoon having tea, and the evenings were always filled with laughter as they watch their favourite TV shows. She would often take her mom out for grocery shopping, or a leisure walk around the neighbourhood.
Most importantly, they shared stories, and reminisced the good ol’ days.
Unfortunately, Madam Bee’s mother was diagnosed with dementia and this was the turning point for her. Madam Bee had no choice but to send her mother to a nursing home. Things were not as it used to be.
This period of her life was challenging and painful. She could not bear the thought of not having her mother beside her, fearing that her mother would feel lonely at the nursing home, missing out on the life she had back at home. Gone were the days where they could watch their favourite TV shows together. Gone were the days when she would take her mother for a walk around the neighbourhood.
Anxiety issues and the fear of not being able to take care of her mother and herself led Madam Bee into depression. It was tough, until she was referred to Thye Hua Kwan.
Madam Bee was greeted with the warm smiles of several elderly upon her first visit to Thye Hua Kwan. “Selemat datang ke Thye Hua Kwan! Sila duduk!” which translates to “Welcome to Thye Hua Kwan, please take a seat!”. Madam Bee smiled, knowing that she would be well taken care of.
Not long after, Madam Bee became a well-loved family member of the nursing home. Supported by the numerous social activities and cognitive engagement programmes with fellow residents and volunteers, Madam Bee felt that she belonged here.
Thye Hua Kwan never failed to offer her the love and support she needed most. Little by little, she overcame her anxiety and depression and was back to her usual jolly self who always has a ready smile for everyone.
Madam Bee’s last wish was to live with her mother again. It would mean the world to her if she could spend more time with her mother. Fortunately for Madam Bee, Thye Hua Kwan understood her needs, and did their best to reunite the two. Eventually, they were able to transfer Madam Bee’s mother to Thye Hua Kwan Nursing Home. Now, both Madam Bee and her mother are reunited happily in the same ward at Hougang.
Growing old together with your loved ones is a blessing. It is always better, happier, and more memorable to spend your remaining days with people you love the most, and those who loves you in return.
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