Ageing graciously, living meaningfully

Feb 2007    

Part Three of the series on the Methodist Welfare Services highlights programmes and services for the elderly and frail. Again, we witness the enduring faith and commitment of Jin Han and Susanna as the former writes a love letter reminiscing about their life together.

DEAR Susanna, how many other couples do you think have a marriage as exciting as ours? I think we were blessed from the start.

We were able to weather five years of uncertainty as we waited to have our own baby; we saw our relationship turn sour as we avoided talking about the possibility of not having children and enjoyed the return of our courtship days as we patched things up; then came months of anticipation as we waited for the arrival of our child.

And just when we thought things were looking up I was retrenched and we endured more than a year of hand-to-mouth existence. I am very thankful that our faith in God kept our spirits up during those trying days and our church community was always ready to support us.

I remember another period when you spent many sleepless nights in sheer frustration and anxiety. When Charis was in kindergarten, you decided to work part-time and your mother picked her up from school and took her home for lunch.

Charis has always loved going to Mother’s house because of her homemade “kueh” and savouries. Alas, this “sweet” arrangement did not last long. While Mother was spring-cleaning her bathroomfor the Lunar New Year, she slipped and broke her hip bone. We spent many agonising hours in the hospital while the doctors operated on her. During those anxious hours we found great comfort in the visits and prayers of Margaret and other friends from our cell group.

With the operation over, we were faced with another concern: who would look after Mother while she was recovering? Having got used to her independent lifestyle we felt it would not be fair to confine her at home, especially as nobody would be around when you sent Charis to school or went marketing.

Again, we turned to our church community for help and were told about Bethany Methodist Nursing Home at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4. We managed to get a place for Mother with the help of the Hospital’s Medical Social Worker, but just as we expected, Mother refused to be sent to a nursing home.

As the days passed, Mother became lonely and withdrawn. Then one day you came home with a volunteer from Bethany Methodist Nursing Home. As she talked about the programmes for the elderly, we noticed Mother’s face brighten. To our relief, she asked to visit the place for a quick tour. And of course, she liked what she saw, especially the chance to make new friends.

To her disappointment, Mother recovered from her surgery quickly. She was discharged from Bethany Methodist Nursing Home after five months but to her credit, she continued to get in touch with her friends there, sending them birthday and Christmas cards and occasional gifts.

Mel Lee is the Senior Executive, Communications and Fund-Raising, of the Methodist Welfare Services.

Editor: The story of Jin Han and Susanna will continue in the April issue of Methodist Message.

Methodist Welfare Services centres

Services for the Elderly, Sick, Frail, and Socially Disadvantaged: MWS serves the elderly, sick and frail at its nursing home through a comprehensive range of services which include rehabilitative day care, home-help, home medical, home nursing, physiotherapy, residential longterm care and hospice care. At its home for the destitute, it offers healthcare, befriending, counselling and a safe haven.

A volunteer-based hospice fellowship provides support to the terminally ill.

* Bethany Methodist Nursing Home
Tel: 6314-1580 Fax: 6314-1576
* Christalite Methodist Home
Tel: 6368-5179 Fax: 6368-7127
* Methodist Hospice Fellowship
Tel: 6761-0116 Fax: 6314-1576
mhf@bethany.mws.org.sg *


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