A motley bunch of Symphonians dressed in red with santa hats and reindeer/snowman headgear on 6 December 2012 made their way to Rumah Victory, a home for the elderly tucked up on a hill slope along Jalan Klang Lama. Some of the elderly were still busy finishing off their lunch whilst the rest stared at us as we unloaded the MPV which ferried consumables, toiletries and not forgetting mouth watering nyonya kuih!. We quickly gathered, snapped some photos and then made our way inside the home. The caretaker, Ah Teong gave us a tour of the home. A peek into the rooms reflected their very sparse living conditions. We were told each room could house 3-5 people depending on the size of the room. Ah Teong says that the home depends on charity and goodwill. Part of the group gave a performance which saw of our staff gyrating their hips much to the joy of the elderly who clapped along with the music.
From the discussions with some of them, we found that many are without families. Some have been registered there by their children who do not have the means of employing a private caregiver. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise as these elderly people here will have the opportunity to mingle, make friends, chat ( and perhaps disagree !) instead of being left alone at home or on the streets. The oldest person staying there is a 93 year old lady who though immobile has perfect hearing! During one conversation, one man told us he would turn 78 soon and much to our surprise he said his birthday was 6 December ! What a coincidence ! He was such a sporting character and was all smiles when we sang “ Happy Birthday to Uncle Lang Chai” !
All too soon we had to bid our farewell. It’s easy buying gifts and dropping them off to the needy but honestly speaking, these elderly people need a bit of your time to visit, talk and listen to them. Growing old isn’t a choice.
Will you, during this Season of Giving and Sharing take time to visit some home and spend a little time with the elderly because that’s all the elderly have….TIME.