A retired teacher in a kindergarten, 64-year-old Mee Joon is busy these days looking after her 75-year-old husband who not only has heart disease, but has diabetes, high blood pressure and a weak kidney. He was using a cane to get around but recently, he had been relegated to a wheelchair. She shared that he had several health episodes starting from last year including a heart attack and this year, his lungs and liver filled up with water, which resulted in him losing his appetite and reducing his weight by nine kilograms.
Though he is better now, he still needs help. The two live on their own (their children are married and have moved out) and she takes on the caregiving responsibilities. She shared about her reluctance in getting a helper, “I want to get a helper but am scared. Money is not the problem but I have heard a number of negative stories about getting a helper.” So as such, she cooks his meals, helps him to the toilet and clothes him, as he is weak to do so.
But she makes it a point to still do her own things. Mee Joon, who had breast cancer three years ago and has been cancer-free so far, goes to the library to learn new things. She shared that one of her sons bought her a smartphone and she went to borrow books on understand how to use it. She also got her grandchildren to teach her. “I like to learn.” She also plays games on her iPad.
She talks fondly about her children – “My three children really love me a lot. My son bought me the smartphone and another son even gave me a credit card so I could spend on whatever I want. Also, when my children travel, they always buy me things including branded goods. However, money is not the most important, love is the most important.”