Life Moments

Another year is here; how time flies ! – 2016 is gone and 2017 is running its course, in full force. Of course, there are many moments of reflection, joys and regrets. For some, is a time to make new resolutions and put aside those past forgotten ones.

To me, my New Year’s resolution is best described in the New Year’s greetings watsapp by a friend –

Indeed, the bible has many solutions to our life situations. When we learn to put into practice as Lord Jesus has instructed us in His Words, the old man would not lament ,” Why don’t my children ever called me? “.

Sometimes, we need to do a reality check on ourselves. There are times we just get our priorities a little off-balance as humorously summarised below by a friend –

Man O Man! Never means what he says and never says what he means…..

Life is not about what you couldn’t do so far, it’s about what you can still do.

Wait, don’t ever give up… Miracles happen every day.

$2 seems too much to give a beggar but it seems okay when its given as tip at a fancy restaurant.

After a whole day of work, spending hours at the gym seem alright, but helping your Mother out at home seems like a burden.

Praying to God for 3 min takes too much time but watching a movie for 3 hours doesn’t.

Waits a whole year for Valentine’s day but always forget Mother’s day.

Two poor starving kids sitting on the pavement weren’t given even a slice of bread but a painting of them is sold for hundred dollars.

Make a change, because you can ….

Here are five easy ways to earn, even after death.

1) Give a smile or gift to someone. Each time you gift a smile, it will make someone’s day. You gain.

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2) Donate a wheelchair to a hospital. Each time a sick person uses it, you gain.

3) Participate in building an orphanage, or a hospital or a school or a college. Anybody uses it, you gain.

4) Place a water cooler in a public place. When someone drinks the water, you gain.

5) Plant a tree. Whenever a person, animal sits in its shade or eats from it, you gain. “

Let’s us take time out to touch lives for these moments will linger and stay with us for the rest of our life, remembering a smile, a hug, a phone call or a kind deed.

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Update – build treasure in Heaven

It has been three months since my last update. The days of living out of luggage are over. Finally! Our new flat came and renovation completed.

The view is good, being on high floor. The airflow is fantastic and windy. The place is really serene.

To me, it’s like the Garden of Eden mentioned in the Bible. I really love this new place, thanking God for such a blessed home to enjoy all the way to our golden years.

Just as we were about to settle into our new home, the developer of the apartment building for some reasons started hacking the floor of the unit above us, to the depth and extent that our ceiling throughout most of our new home has been affected.

We were badly affected by the turn of event. Indeed, as human, our minds started to imagine the worst possible could happen to our home, forgetting God is sovereign and knows what best for us. We had sleepless nights when it began to dawn on us that Satan indeed had a foothold over our life as we cling on to our new material possession.

We are thankful that God draws us back to focus on Him and trust Him fully to protect our new home and guard our hearts against straying away from Him even though we have yet to know how the authority will handle our situation.

Matthew 6:19 says
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal “

Indeed a good reminder for Satan will test us in every possible situation just when we least expect.

BEAUTY in the EYES of the BEHOLDER

A few days ago, a friend re-posted a range of birds from bird gallery in the FB. To me, they are beautiful and uniquely shaped; some are well endowed with rainbow colours. Most would agree when they see the photos.

I believe most, if not, all of us are drawn to things, nature and people of beauty and attractiveness. We tend to take second look at dashing guys and stunning girls; it’s human and natural. I believe every one wants to look beautiful or handsome, and some would spend thousands of dollars just to beautify themselves.

I’m thankful that God looks at our heart and inner beauty,  not so much our outer appearance. (1 Samuel 16 : 7 ) He loves all of us the same regardless we are fat, thin, pretty, ugly, short, tall, white, yellow or black. He shows no favouritism.

Yes, I’m glad that’s our God for I’m just an average pleasant-looking girl; the type that no one would take a second glance but contented with her own unique features. Yet Dan found me to be pretty in my own special ways when he first met me. Indeed, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I believe that was because he looked at and valued my inner beauty more than what he saw physically.

Talking about inner beauty, I have to say that Maureen, a lady I met in a Bible school, where I attended a week-long seminar, had the most beautiful inner soul when she sang praises to God. However, when I looked at face, it wasn’t pleasant to look at – it’s truly grotesque. When I first saw her, I was taken aback but when she sang, I was drawn to her soothing and melodious voice flowing with deep emotions of gratitude for God.

At that time, I had the impression that she must have a very intimate encounter with God, to be singing so beautifully despite her appearance. Later, I learnt that Maureen was born a beautiful looking baby but as a young adult, she was trapped in her burning home where she suffered severe facial burns. That’s was some 20 years ago and she was in her 40’s when I met her in the Bible school. She shared that God gave her strength and boldness to step out of her home after the disfigurement and ignore the unwanted stares and nasty comments from passers-by. It was in Church environment she was well received and treated like any other person without all the stares and snide remarks. It helped her to see herself beyond her physical features and look at her own inner beauty as Jesus did.

I am encouraged to know Maureen is able to find love and acceptance in the Church where believers follow Jesus’ examples in showering love and acceptance to the “least” of the people. (Matthew 25:40)

Sadly, I have since lost touch with her and wish her well in every sense of the word. May God bless her life richly in every way in accordance to His plan. Also may God bless her with a lifetime partner who sees her inner beauty.

Compassion

“COMPASSION?”, ” COMPASSION!”. My thoughts have been lingering and mulling over the state of Compassion I have for fellow humans. Somehow I can’t shake it off. It just creeps into my mind and heart like a fleeting shadow.

It all started 2 weeks ago, one of the raining days, I can’t recall exactly which day. As it was raining, Dan suggested, ” Let’s go to Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre for breakfast since there is a direct bus and covered walkway; we won’t be caught in the rain”. Of course, I was in full agreement as I didn’t like the wetness of a raining day.

It was at the hawker centre that I caught sight of this unkempt elderly man sitting two tables away from me. I should say it was the strong urine stench that the wind blew towards my nose, arousing the repulsive feeling in me. I started to look around my table, trying to detect the source of urine nearby. That’s when I saw the unkempt elderly man and realised he was the source of the stench.

He was just sitting quietly looking at the row of food stalls in front of him, immobilized and mesmerized by the food. The whole hour we ate simple and hot meals and consumed our hot drinks, he just sat there quietly and looked at the food longingly.

Interestingly, he didn’t even ask for money from anyone or beg like some would when they were hungry. I felt for him as I was eating my breakfast. That’s when I guess, my compassion for him overwhelmed me. Dan hadn’t noticed him until I pointed out.

I didn’t say very much to Dan except that this elderly had been sitting at the table as long as we had, looking at the food and not even begging for money. Immediately, Dan walked over and handed him a $10 note for his meals. No words were uttered between them. I guessed he was pleasantly surprised by Dan’s gesture. We, of course, didn’t need any acknowledgement in return.

As I was watching Dan and the elderly, the bible story about the poor man, Lazarus, waiting outside the rich man’s house for food but was ignored (Luke 16:19-31) came to my mind. I was truly stirred in my heart. I know I have to give an account of the resources God have blessed me with. We can easily afford to bless this elderly with a meal of his choice. It would mean a lot to him on a cold raining day after all meal prices in hawker centres aren’t that expensive to go beyond our means.

Having acted,  I felt lifted up and joyful. Lord Jesus had compassion for all of us regardless of our appearance, status and wealth. I believe all of us have a compassionate heart deep inside us. The difference is how and the extent we put this compassion in action. Expression of compassion can take in many forms and the most common, in my opinion, is in the form of money like a gift to the person.

I am wary of the possible entanglements arising out of rendering financial help. I mean, to be taken for granted as a MUST to extend monetary gift as and when needed in the range of hundreds and thousands of dollars. Hence I am often reluctant to do so unless the Lord moves my compassionate heart, for I know HE will lead and walk me through any entanglement should there be. Lately , ever since I have stopped working, I realised the fear of overspending and poor stewardship have diluted the compassion in me until when I saw this elderly at the hawker centre.

1 John 4:18 says, “perfect love casts out all fears.” I am still learning how to love in the same manner Jesus loves us and to show that love unreservedly, and to rest firmly in knowing that God is my provider. I often remind myself about the poor widow mentioned in Mark 12:41-44; she was willing to offer her last two coins, all that she had, and trusting God to meet all her needs. In comparison, we are not rich but not lacking either, just have to learn to whole-heartedly trust in the good and faithful God.

 

 

3-in-1

What a catch phrase! Indeed, we have more and more 3-in-1 in our lives. In fact,  for some of us, our lives are dominated by them, simply we want things to be fast, quick or instant.

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We have 3-in-1 coffee sachet. Just take one sachet, pour into a cup and add boiling water; and hey presto! We have an instant cup of hot boiling coffee ready to drink. What a convenience! And for those who are health conscious, there is even 3-in-1 low-fat coffee. Can you imagine that!

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For tea lovers like myself, definitely our whims are well met with equally wide range of 3-in-1s. There are milk tea latte, hazelnut flavoured milk tea and even tea tarik.

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I have yet to try the instant 3-in-1 tea tarik. So I have been wondering would this taste any different from the traditionally brewed tea tarik which involves “pulling” the drink as the tea is being poured into the cup. Do I have to physically “pull” the drink after I add boiling water to the 3-in-1 tea tarik? One of these days, I need to buy a pack to try.

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Even energy drinks like Milo and Horlicks come in 3-in-1 , too, for those who take these as breakfast substitutes. Otherwise, you can try the 3-in-1 oat meal for a light healthy and filling breakfast!

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For those who are starving and can’t wait, we have instant 1 minute ready to eat noodle . If can wait a little longer, there is the 2 minute Maggi instant noodle. What more can a hungry soul ask for? All these come in different flavours and varieties, too. It’s sure handy to stock some of these for days when we want “fast” food.

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I used to keep stock of instant noodles, cups and cups of Nissin Laksa  noodles in the pantry as a young working career woman. I love Laksa, spicy and well fragrant with spices in the gravy. Most of the nights, I had to work late and once I reached home, too tired to cook , I would reach for a cup of instant Laksa noodles. This went on till I met Dan who was dead set against consuming such unhealthy food. Once we were married, Laksa instant noodles became food of the past. He made me promise not to consume such instant noodles henceforth. I kept my words even though I was tempted many times to steal a bite behind his back. Now, I can only relish the taste from memories.

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3-in-1 is not limited to foodstuff only. I came across a”3-in-1″ souvenir in the Botanic Gardens. It’s sure good to have it around when you are having a chill-time with friends drinking icy cold beers. You can just pull this 3-in-1 souvenir decor from the fridge door to open the beer bottles instead of hunting for bottle opener. Thereafter, it can be used as a coaster for the dripping wet water droplets sliding down the cold beer.  Come to think of it, it makes a handy Christmas gift for friends who drink or entertain. Maybe I should get some as gifts for Christmas which is just some five months away.

Homeless

I was reading an article written by some youths who had been reaching out to the homeless for some years now. I know in every country there will be homeless; the only difference is the degree of it. Not every homeless is without a home or loved ones. Each homeless is not just a label or a number in the social welfare listing but a face with telling stories for those keen and patient to hear him/her out.

Until we hear their stories, we often can’t comprehend why for those with homes, prefer to stay in the public parks, sleep in the car parks or even in the void decks of HDB flats, often out of sight from main stream pedestrian walkways. I guess that’s why we don’t see many homeless in certain parts of the island while other areas, there are a few more around.

I believe it’s not easy to stay homeless, moving around with little precious, hoping to find a good resting place, safe from prying eyes and theft. I am sure constant moving around is real tiring ; the distance to cover in search of a “home” for the night. For some, they would just settle in the same old places as they become accustomed and claim that as their “homes”.

These are just my simple thoughts and feelings in trying to understand the homeless. I have never actually been “homeless” until we sold our only flat in 2013 and down graded to a smaller one when we decided to be more involved in” social volunteerism” on a full-time basis. Now without a constant source of active income,  we have to be prudent financial “managers” of  our fund. Our new flat isn’t available until 3 years later (in 2017), the time HDB needed to build and release the keys to us.

Conceptually,  I can say  we are homeless during these periods of time. We gave away all our furnitures and electronic appliances leaving only the essentials. It was truly a challenging time deciding what we would need for the next 3 years and have these fitted into 2 medium-sized luggages, one for Dan and another for me. Well, it’s my first trying to live out of the luggage bags, in total we had 4 ( 2 for clothes, 1 computer backpack, 1 for document and medication) ,bringing these with us wherever we go.

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That’s the beginning of our journey in trusting the good Lord for our future destinations of abode. The first after we sold our flat was to a friend’s place. Flo testified that she was moved in her heart to invite us to stay with her for the week before we leave for Nepal for our short volunteering stint.

Philippians 4: 6-7 says” Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God ,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Indeed! And God is faithful and answers our prayers.  Even for Nepal. We didn’t know anyone over in Nepal and wasn’t sure where we would be staying. God’s timing was perfect. Just before we left for Nepal, we were prompted to attend a meeting. In the meeting, we were introduced to Seb who was operating a cafe in Nepal. Hence that was our first place of abode and subsequently, with God’s divine appointments, we stayed with a local Nepalese family and finally an American family, all of whom were strangers to us.

When it’s time to return home, we didn’t have a home per se to go back to. God has been good. Again, somehow we met Vic and Fio whom we have lost contact for more than a decade. They generously opened their place to us whenever we were back from our overseas stint.

After all these years of living out of luggage, the longing for a “home” is growing with each passing month. I love to have a place I can call my own,  all my things neatly arranged with easy accessibility instead of everything crammed into the bags. Still, there is nothing I can do till the new flat is ready. I am sure out there in the wide world, some of the homeless would have the same longing as I do. May God grant them their hearts’ desires.

Brisk walking for better health

Walking is a every day affair unless one is bed-ridden or wheelchair bound. I used to associate leisurely walking with brisk walking. I mean walking in the park leisurely for half an hour is brisk walking to me ; I perspire not from the exercise but from the heat under the sun. I am tired not from the exercise but from the duration of the walk.

I only realised the difference between leisure or sometime I called “lazy” walking and brisk walking when my brother told me so. Since that day, I have been doing real brisk walking in the park. I was so desk bound when I was working, hardly ever exercise. As my age increases, so are my blood pressure and cholesterol but my strength and stamina are heading south; not a good sign. That’s why I am doing my brisk walk 3 times a week in Botanic Gardens, especially in the Rain forest.

photogrid_1467676275728.jpgI love to brisk walk in the Rain Forest because of the serenity, closeness to nature where I can hear all the different sounds of God’s creations and the different gradients of the boardwalk. It just brings me closer to God and reminds me of the Garden of Eden.

photogrid_1467300306653.jpgRecently, while I was waiting with my mum-in-law at the Pharmacy, Centre for Geriatric Medicine in Tan Tock Seng Hospital, I saw a Health Promotion handout about brisk walking. It was an interesting read; it confirmed some of my understandings and corrected some of my misconceptions. All it takes is 15o minutes a week of brisk walking to make a difference in your health! That’s not that difficult to achieve in a week.

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The article also highlighted the benefits of brisk walking, one of which is it burns off excess calories and helps to manage weight. Hmm…. I like this pretty much, I have begun to notice the excesses around my waist especially when I tried wearing a fitting figure-hugging dress for a wedding. Some would call this excess “love-handle”, others may term it as pot-belly. I guess this grows with age; can’t wait to overcome this excess in due time.

What caught my attention the most is how we should do our brisk walking – arm and feet movements, and abdominal muscles.

photogrid_1467696427840.jpg  It says we should keep our abdominal muscles tightened when brisk walking. I guess that must be the secret formula for achieving a flat “stomach”. Got to try that out in the coming walks.

The other interesting point is when we walk, we should land with our heels first when stepping forward, then roll the feet through towards the toes. It sounds kind of odd though, landing on the heels first instead of our toes. For all my life, I thought my walking is normal, landing on the toes first before the heel. Now the article is suggesting the reverse, does it applies only to brisk walking ? I wonder. Need to try it out to see is this more effective.

Finally, we need to remember to swing our arms rhythmically with elbows at 90° and hands loosely clenched when we brisk walk. Sometimes I do this and I find it helps to push me forward in tandem with my walk pace, kind of a faster pace. However, most of the times, I tend to hang my arms and hands loosely by my side swaying slightly as I walk. So one more correction to my brisk walking stance to take note.

Well, overall, I’m still glad to know I need to exercise only for 150 minutes a week for better health. Just need to schedule and spread the exercise over the week.

Getting a job after 40s

Yes, I am talking about getting a job after 40s , not building a career. In Singapore it’s a reality that once you pass the fearful 40 years of age, getting the next job would be a nightmare especially when you found yourself retrenched from the company and have a young growing family with debts to settle.

If you are in your 50s, the situation is magnified, becoming an uphill task trying to get another job. This is not a myth but true reality.

Recently, I had dinner with Gin, who was in her 40s and thinking of switching job, and Lin who was in her 50s, looking for a new job as she had just left her company after putting so much effort to work and excel in the company but to no avail.

Of course, needless to say,  the dinner conversation was centred on their job-hunting experiences. Words of reminders were given to Gin not to resign from her job till she found the next one. She had been earnestly seeking for a change for a year now but no offer was made to her. That’s real tough.

Lin shared since she left her job last December 2015,  she had sent 500 applications to recruitment agencies for every senior financial and accounting position available in all industries, some were repeated applications as the positions were re-advertised. Her repetitive applications caught the attention of one agency who called to find out about her persistence in pursuing a senior managerial or controller job.

Lin found out from the recruiter that for every position, there were about a thousand or more applications. Thus she was competing with younger applicants who might not have that many years of experiences but commanded lower remuneration packages that met the prospective employer’s demands.

The softening of global economy as well as that of Singapore added to the woes of many older job seekers especially those who fall under the category of PMET (Professionals, Managers, Executive s and Technicians) – the term is such a fad now and I guess almost every one is trying to make sense who actually fall in this category of PMET.

If you are one,  there is a whole list of financial subsidies and courses to help you acquire new skill sets or upgrade your potentials for career switch, the latest being Skillsfuture credit and “Adapt and Grow” programs initiated and managed by Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

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It’s great to have all the subsidies and courses available but I can’t imagine myself in my 50s or even in 60s to pursue a course and sit in an examination just to acquire a diploma, at the end of the day drawing a salary that’s almost half of my last drawn salary. I know there are some older workers out there who can go through the whole processes. For me, it’s a BIG ?.

I may not have the stamina or the mental physique to go through such mentally exhausting pursuit of education especially if I am in my late 50s going to 60s unless the good Lord wills it. If so, He will, as shown in –

Isaiah 40:29 ” He will give strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”  

And Isaiah 40:31 ” those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint”.

Only with His divine power, I can do it. The day may come should I decide to re-enter the workforce to be an active contributor to the society.

Coming back to Lin, I learnt that she finally succeeded to secure a job interview. The job was very niche and unique, newly created to manage the prospective company’s costing and profit through commodity hedging. God knows her next job and has prepared her in her previous job. Lin didn’t think the experience in her previous job was going to value-add to her experiences as the nature and job scope were not commonly seen in the market place. She was one of the two candidates with the required job experience. As a result, she was offered the job at her requested salary. What a wonderful news! Lin has overcome all odds to secure employment and at her requested salary- indeed a rarity!

Therapeutic Gardens for mental well-being

I am glad that the government is pro-actively looking into how to utilise the 300 over public parks spread across the island, to improve the mental well-being of its citizens especially senior citizens suffering from dementia, depression and stroke linked- conditions.

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Plans are in the pipeline to build island-wide network of therapeutic gardens in these parks. The first is in HortPark, Alexandra Road, launched on 14 May 2016 by National Parks Board, and to be followed by Bishan-Ang Mo Kio and Tiong Bahru parks which are within the reach of a large cluster of residential HDB homes in the vicinity.

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The garden is designed with restorative features to provide a rehabilitative environment to stimulate the sense of hearing, sight, touch and smell.  It is based on the principle of horticultural therapy which uses plants and nature to benefit and stimulate the human mind. Vibrant-coloured flowers were chosen as an uplifting visual stimulant; pastel coloured flowers for calming effect. Pandan leaves were planted to activate the sense of smell. 

I do agree that such garden is beneficial to both young and old. The nursing home where my mum-in-law is currently staying has a garden filled with trees and fruit plants like grapes and papayas as well as a fish pond, 4 rabbits, 5 quails and 3 canaries. I can say it is a miniature version of the therapeutic garden in the park.

My mum-in-law enjoys going down with us to the garden. It is really soothing in such serene environment. Often I use the garden surrounding as conversational topics to engage her mental and cognitive thinking. She is usually in a cheerful mood when she is in the garden.

The most appealing in this therapeutic garden initiative is I could look to the near future for National Parks to partner with Housing Development Board and other agencies to develop these gardens in residential premises, the concept of bringing these gardens to the homes. Now most if not all new HDB projects have roof gardens in selected apartment blocks. I see the creation of therapeutic garden as a mere extension of the roof garden concept.

I gladly wait for this to happen, to have a therapeutic garden below my apartment building. Some elderly don’t like to travel far even by car, like my mum-in-law. After a few minutes into the journey, she will always ask “are we reaching yet ?”. Having the garden within my door step would certainly help as in time to come, she would likely come home to stay with us. Then she can be brought down for regular walks or even participate in the garden activities to stimulate her mind and slow down the progression of her dementia.

The implementation of dementia friendly community programs and establishment of therapeutic  gardens in the neighbourhood parks would go a long way to assist the elderly to live actively and age gracefully. The caregivers of elderly would not be walking the lonely and weary journey alone.

Indeed the good Lord knows my concerns in advance. How true is Romans 8:28 ” … in all things God works for the good of those who love Him”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dementia caregiver

I was taken aback when I read in the news that dementia among aging population was on the rise. Today, 1 in 10 above the age of 60 years old has dementia. By 2030, 13% of the population will be 65 years and above. Just imagine the number of elderly with dementia!

In the article posted on 12 June by Kenneth Lim, he related the struggles and challenges of a family with dementia father. The heartache, frustration, despair, stresses and fatigue are not easily comprehensible. We know but can’t really feel the extent of despondency which the caregivers feel at times. I have heard of testimonies of such caregivers whose loved ones can’t remember family and direction back to their home when they are out or those who believe every one is against them. It’s heart wrenching. Sometimes it comes to a point the caregivers just want to give up and walk away from all of it.

I know what it feels like but still couldn’t comprehend the full extent of it. My mother-in-law suffers from mild dementia.  Dan’s family only discovered her dementia when she fell sick and was hospitalised. No one took much notice of her frequent forgetfulness, thinking it was just part of age-related memory loss, after all she was already in her 80’s.

The onset of dementia is not easily detectable. Even with some manifestation of  “weird” behaviours or over-emphasis of certain physical actions like the family mentioned in the article, we wouldn’t associate such behaviours with dementia; we would attribute that change as an idiosyncratic mannerism.

Mum-in-law’s manifested symptoms are loss of memory, loss of sense of time – mainly can’t differentiate between afternoon and evening time and present or past  events and, not able to recognise places – often mistaken Singapore for Malaysia for example. She begins to be more particular about cleanliness on table or any place within her sight. She also needs things to be arranged in an orderly neat and straight fashion. I am thankful to God that her dementia doesn’t incapacitate her from attending to her own daily needs , all she needs is a little assistance and reminders.She has started to take medication for her dementia and this assisted in slowing down the progression.photogrid_1465799198770.jpgWhen it was time to discharge her from the hospital, nursing care was important as mum-in-law was still weak. A choice had to be made between Home Care with a maid or nursing home where there are 24 hours of nursing care. Ultimately, she was transferred to a nursing home to recuperate and for monitoring of her health and mental condition.

I believe God knows the strength and stamina of each of the family members as caregivers. The family and us visit mum-in-law daily to provide her with familiar faces and something for her to look forward to each day. During these visits, I had a foretaste of what it would be like as a caregiver over a long period of time. I realised she needed full attention maybe because she saw us only for a few hours each day or maybe she couldn’t remember what had transpired a few minutes earlier. I wasn’t sure. She would keep asking for Dan even when he went away for a few minutes to the toilet. She would repeatedly ask the same questions within a short time span because she didn’t recall she had just asked.

All these repetitious routines we go through with her require patience and understanding. How true it is when Apostle Paul told the Ephesians in Ephesians 4: 2″  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love”.  Yes, these are the attitudes we need to adopt in care giving.

Amazingly at times, she could recall events clearly including her meals. I realised some events closer to her heart, she could remember and keep repeating them to us. In a nutshell, I felt that in home care, there should be at least 2 caregivers to care for a dementia person so each has sufficient rest and time away for personal re-charging. I am grateful for the little respite when we return home to re-charge before visiting her the next day. We can go home with peace of mind knowing there are nurses round the clock to look after mum-in-law and the residents in the home.

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I am glad the Government is preempting the social problems that will arise with increasing dementia elderly under home care. They have started with the setting up of dementia friendly community beginning with Yishun and Hong Kah constituencies. They even initiated training of volunteers and spear-headed dementia awareness programs.

In time to come, the whole community in Singapore can be co-caregivers or support to the families with dementia loved ones. This is something to look forward to in the future. It doesn’t have to be a lonely journey for the caregiver.