English Teachers Are Happy To Share

English Teachers Are Happy To Share

Random Thoughts by Pauline

June 1 2015     Monday           

Chinese aspire to a good life blessed with the three attributes of prosperity (), status (祿) and longevity () each personified with a deity. With advances in science, longevity has become more possible and ageing can be graceful too.

Just take a look of ourselves or the people around us. When tribal villagers living in deprived remote areas suffer from blurred eyesight, hard of hearing, toothless mouth or crippled movements, we are supported with artificial lenses, hearing aids, dentures and prostheses. We can perform daily activities such as reading, eating, walking or dressing nearly as well as when we are young. These put meaning to a long life.

My mother has been wearing hearing aids for a few months now. She is getting used to it. As to me, cataracts have developed in both eyes and I am undergoing the two surgeries next week. We are both attended to by a very patient domestic helper. Not all old people are so fortunate.

Many elderly have to live in homes either because they are bed-ridden and need intensive care or their children are either too poor or too busy. This does not mean they are not loved. And yet once in nursing homes, their fate is in the hands of the nurses and attendants. When I saw on television how the staff of the privately owned Tai Po Cambridge Nursing Home were filmed stripping female residents bare before they took a shower on a balcony in full view of neighbours, I was heart-broken. These elderly are herded like cattle with every ounce of dignity taken away from them. They sat there helpless, voiceless, waiting for the final call!

Life is a cycle. Infants are feeble at the mercy of the adults and so are the old who can no longer take care of themselves. There is one difference, though. Infants have not been “socialized”. They do not know they should feel shameful when being stripped naked in public! Such acts of brutal abuse of the elderly must be severely penalized but the root of the issue is the urgency to tackle the aging problem. I am sure this incident of abuse is only the tip of the iceberg.