A writer for the Chinese daily recently shared the story of an elderly Singaporean, whom he has seen sitting alone at the void deck of a HDB block every day, for years.
Noting that he sees the elderly man, who appears to be in his 70s, every morning when he goes to work and every evening when he returns home, the writer shared:
“Day after day, year after year, this is his daily life, watching the people around him live. His face always smiles, nodding his head and waving his hand to the people passing by him. From his eyes, he can see that he is eager for someone to stop and chill with him, but everyone’s footsteps are always in a hurry.”
Curious to learn why the elderly man sits at the same stone bench every single day, the writer approached the man and made conversation. This is when he discovered that the elderly man is a stroke survivor who sits at the void deck so that someone might see him and help in case he suffers another stroke.
Revealing that his family members work long hours and only return home at night, the elderly man recounted that he suffered a small stroke a few years ago when no one was home. Fortunately, a neighbour discovered what was happening and took him to the hospital.
Describing the experience as “terrible,” the elderly man shared that he did not dare to be alone at home and so, sits in the void deck so that he can have a better chance of receiving timely help if he suffers another stroke.
The elderly man, who was surprised that the writer is willing to talk to him, added that he has fewer and fewer friends as the years go by and shared that some of his friends have already passed on, while others are in homes or are battling dementia.
The elderly man further shared that although he worked hard for most of his life, he has no money now. Recounting his conversation with the senior citizen, the writer shared: “Unlike others who can live a happy life in his later years, he can only sit in the flats and “see people.” He admits that he was not used to it at first, but he slowly liked to live alone.”
The writer rightly concluded: “As the population ages, there will be more and more elderly people who are alone.”