02 April 2014

79 Year Old Man Collecting Medicine

Just now when I was hiding in one corner smoking with a co-worker, an old man approached us, he seemed lost so I asked him where he was going, he said he wants to collect medicine, so I asked for his prescription to see if there was any address, then he said he was told to collect at SGH block 4, immediately I knew it was the retail pharmacy as I have been there several times during my wife's pregnancy last year. So I pointed him to the correct direction, and while doing that, I noticed that he had difficult walking, his pace was really slow and I was worried he might end up at the wrong place so I told him to wait for me to smoke finish and then I'll bring him there.

So while walking we chatted a bit, I asked whether he came alone and he said yes, then I asked where his children were, he paused for a while and told me they were busy with their life or work, didn't hear clearly, and he sounded like a Teochew, I can tell because my grandmother is a Teochew, I also asked whether he is local and he said yes, he looked like the typical ah pek you see at Chinatown. I also asked him how old he is, he said he was born in 1935, so he should be 79 years old this year.

While walking, I noticed that he walks very slowly, he said his leg hurts due to old age, then I asked him how he is going to get home after collecting the medicine and he said he will take a taxi, he lives nearby, so I offered to collect his medicine on his behalf, patient don't need to be present anyway, and I told him to sit at the taxi stand and wait for me but he insisted that he come along, maybe he is worried that I will have to pay for the medicine, and maybe he is eligible for some discount or what.

So we took quite a while to get to the pharmacy, I could have gone to and fro a few times haha, anyway at least he arrived at his destination, but I wonder how come his children didn't accompany him, sigh, is that what happens to old people here in Singapore? Sometimes I think about the life here, too stressful, old people are neglected, children are thrown to childcare, everyone busy earning money for a comfortable life, the less privileged ones struggling to make ends meet.

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