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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Old Folks Home



The Queen visited the Old Folks Day Care centre in Cheras reported The Star today.
Seems that she is pleased with it and also impressed with the facilities provided.

The particular news had me remembering the time when I had a chance to visit the old folks home back during schooldays in my hometown. I couldn't say the same as the Queens finding. It was horrible. Horrible horrible sight and saddening I must say. And I wasn't impressed. Couldn't sleep for days.

I've always had a soft spot for the elderly. I don't know why, but perhaps because of how I saw my mom cared for my late grandma and how I was too involved in taking care of my aging grandma that had my heart tugging for the oldies.

I was a member of the Interact club so we organized a visit to the Old Folks home for one of our activities. If my memory serves me well, it was a government run home for the old and homeless. Before we even arrived, I braved myself for the worst....not expecting anything pleasant at all.

We were brought to visit all the places. The compound was rather big, but there were nothing much to see really. The surrounding of the place looks like an old worn-out school. The old people sleep in single beds in a line, much like a dormitory. The male at one place and the female another.

We were warned and foretold beforehand to becareful as "some" of the male inhabitants were rather "gatal" while some are a little schizophrenic so we kept our distance throughout. hehe...it was funny though the rumours were indeed true. 1 of our Interactors almost got "touched" and a group of us almost got beaten up by this grumpy old man who kept talking to himself. Some of the old people we met were kind and truthful, they told us the TRUTH that their children dumped them there and couldnt be bothered to visit them. Some shed tears because they told us that they missed their children and family but have no idea where are they and that they haven't came to visit since Chinese New Year couple years back. It was sad........ a friend of mine who was a real softly couldnt compose herself she practically sobbed all the way.

I too couldn't bare to witness the sight, and the most gruesome thing I witness that made such a impression on me till today is what I saw with my own eyes at how the elderly was being "cleaned".
I peeked into 1 of the dormitary where the ladies sleep. 1 Old lady just pass motion I suppose and the "helper" that was assigned to clean them up just put her on the floor, YES THE FLOOR!!!! and she splashed water all over the poor grandma!!! Just like washing a dog!!!! Oh my goodness.......I was utterly disgusted!!! but helpless....I shed a tear there and then..........sighed a great sigh.......goodness.....They clean her right on the floor beside her bed!!!! And by just splashing water again and again and again over her........Just like how you wash your toilet!!!!
sigh...........That sight lingered in my mind for days playing over and over and over like a broken record. I couldnt shrug it off. It was just horrible!

Though we brought food and goodie bags for them, I think we could do more because I could clearly see some of their face light up when there are visitors because clearly they were bored and lonely.

Well the trip was truly an unforgettable experience for me and I hope I manage to get across to you people how "ugly" it is in the Old Folks Home and not all are "impressive".

Though yes not all care centres are like that, perhaps the private ones are good and at least threats the old people like human. But, I hope that people will reconsider sending their aged parents to the Old Folks Home because well........it is just very pathetic.......... Besides, there is no place like home.



PS. I'm putting this story here so that hopefully when people google "old folks home" (especially those who's looking for 1 to put their parents- shame on you) will end up here in my post and read about it before they make such a decision and think again. Cheers!!

PPS: I have no objection to Old Folks Daycare because.....just like the nursery, you just send them over for the day while you work and pick them up after work. Thats great, at least the old folks have some companion througout the day when you're at work.

1 comment:

Anak Merdeka said...

You know FA - kindys and child daycares are such a BIG business and yet I am surprised NO ONE is going into the old folks daycare business.

I mean, people are living longer now because of medical advances and the younger generation are also having fewer kids. So, instead of worrying about the old fellas being alone at home while you work, wouldn't it be great if there are more options for us? It'll also be a great way for them to socialise instead of being cooped up alone at home.

Obviously, someone is missing a big business opportunity here.