Palliative care inadequate in Malaysia, say netizens

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Nowhere to go: Seniors with chronic health conditions are sent to old folks homes as they do not have anyone to care for them.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia lacks palliative care for those suffering from serious illnesses, said netizens in response to The Star’s exclusive on abandoned seniors.

Yesterday, The Star reported that some seniors with terminal or chronic health conditions are practically abandoned at hospitals and old folks homes as their children do not want to take care of them.

“We lack palliative care in this country. More is sorely needed,” said Rachel Loke on The Star Online Facebook page.

“Frankly, it’s really not easy caring for someone with debilitating disease 24/7 ... It’s really easy to pass judgment, however, you’ll sing a different tune when it’s your turn to be carer, particularly when you don’t have the luxury of a domestic helper,” she said, adding that she saw how taxing it was for her mother to be a caregiver for three years.

Similarly, Mel Lim said facilities like retirement villages are needed in Malaysia.

“There are many elderly that (sic) are still mobile, what is needed aren’t nursing homes or old folks homes but retirement villages,” she said.

Vincent Lee said the elderly could become a financial burden to their families due to the poor state of the economy.

“The thing now is, many of them (children and spouse) cannot even secure a job that is sufficient to support their needs,” he said.

Lee and several readers are also of the opinion that senior citizens should not expect their children to take care of them.

“Do not fully depend on children to take care of you because they may have other commitments to see through,” he said.

At the same time, readers chided those who are willing to abandon their parents in their hour of need.

“Children learn from the previous generation, it is a big cycle of karma. If you treat your parents unkindly, then what do you expect your children (sic) going to do with you in the future?” Anastasia SA said.

For Penny Chan, it is time “we re-look how we do our job as parents”.

“We are what is wrong with our kids. Who taught them to disrespect the elders?” she asked.

Others expressed shock, saying that the “heartless” children will receive their comeuppance.

“The ugly reality of the present generation is that despite our technological and economic advancement, we have regressed as people,” Nubairi Abu Talib said.

Many readers also took the opportunity to advise the younger generation to treasure their parents.

“To those who still have elders, please be responsible and kind because their days are not long anymore,” Lillian Tan said.

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Family & Community , palliativ care


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