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Man with one wish

The eyesight of 74-year-old Mr Ler Eng Leong is so poor that he can only see and count fingers held directly in front of his face. His entire world is a blur. He can only discern vague shapes in his immediate environment, from the furniture and objects in his home, to the roads and trees outside.

Yet, the former carpenter chooses to live alone in a two-room rental flat in MacPherson, which has been his home for more than 10 years. At his advanced age with no family and few material possessions, he prizes his freedom and normal routine above everything else.

He enjoys sunshine, fresh air, walking to the neighbourhood hawker centre for his meals, and meeting his friends. “I like going out for strolls because time passes faster that way. I don’t want to be cooped up indoors,” he says.

If it were not for MWS HomeJoy’s timely intervention last year, Eng Leong would not have been able to continue leading this carefree lifestyle. In early 2016, he suffered a spinal fracture sustained from a fall and was treated at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. As he had no family to take care of his recuperation, the hospital referred him to MWS Homejoy’s Home Nursing service, which began to visit him in August.

Over the next few months, Eng Leong’s vision continued to deteriorate, and in late 2016, he underwent eye surgery that turned out to be unsuccessful. As all his hospital appointments had ceased by then, MWS HomeJoy took up the role of his primary care physician through its Home Medical service.

A doctor started visiting him once every three months to monitor his existing medical conditions, which include low blood pressure, and to ensure that his history of gastric ulcers, anaemia, malnutrition, and dehydration was kept at bay.

With his severely impaired vision, Eng Leong was not confident about making his own way to the polyclinic to fill his prescriptions anymore. He also occasionally forgot to take his medications.

To address this need, MWS HomeJoy began helping him fill his prescription at the polyclinic through its Home Personal Care service since January 2017. Now, a nurse also visits him to conduct basic health checks, deliver his medications and supplements, and pack them into the required dosages.

Today, Eng Leong is a healthier and happier version of his old self. He has resumed his cherished daily strolls around the estate, living his one wish to be at home, in his neighbourhood.

MWS HomeJoy provides a full suite of home-based medical, nursing, therapy and personal care services to frail, homebound seniors like Eng Leong. Its service boundary covers Eunos, Geylang, Kallang, Circuit Road, North Bridge Road, Dakota and Choa Chu Kang, where there is a higher density of needy and chronically-ill seniors living in their own homes. This number is expected to increase in number in view of Singapore’s rapidly ageing population.

Help MWS HomeJoy continue its work of serving frail, low-income homebound seniors by making a donation at give.mws.sg. For enquiries on its range of services, drop us an email at ce@mws.sg.

By the Methodist Welfare Services Communications Team