In his younger days, Mr Yeo Chong Suah was an energetic young man who learnt Wushu on his own by watching martial arts movies. He had many friends and led an active social life.
Now, the 76-year-old bachelor lives alone in a three-room flat in Whampoa. His legs have darkened as a result of poor blood flow in his veins. Mr Yeo also suffers from osteoarthritis and has since fallen many times. He can only walk a few steps each time, relying mainly on his walking frame when indoors and using a wheelchair when running errands outside.
Mr Yeo’s health started to decline when he suffered a stroke in 2005. He was then in his 60s. His mobility had also started to worsen due to the severe degeneration of his bones and joints. One day, he fell from his wheelchair while going up a slope near his flat. He was quickly rushed to the hospital.
Mr Yeo was then referred to TOUCH Home Care (THC) in 2008. That year, he started receiving THC’s transport escort services for his hospital appointments. He was later put on housekeeping services in 2012 and Meals-On-Wheels programme the following year. THC’s occupational therapist also visited him and suggested ways to make his home safer. For example, his room was reorganised, and the bamboo pole which stood in the way was replaced with a clothes rack to create more space. Mr Yeo was also prescribed a new wheelchair and was taught by the physiotherapist how to exercise using his gate. When his wheelchair was faulty, the occupational therapist arranged for it to be repaired so he could go out again.
Despite his frequent stay in the hospital due to recurring falls, Mr Yeo was repelled by the doctors’ advice to check into a nursing home.
“When I heard what the doctors said, I was furious. This is my home and I will find a way to help myself. I want to learn all I can to get better. I am not afraid to try as long as I can make my own choices and decide on the kind of life I want to lead,” said Mr Yeo adamantly.
Due to mobility issues, Mr Yeo also has poor feet hygiene and suffers from recurring skin problems. His poor blood circulation also makes it harder for wounds to heal. On some days, the pain was too much to bear as his legs would swell, making it hard to move and further adding to his discomfort.
In 2015, Mr Yeo was put on THC’s nursing services. THC’s nurse would tend to his wound two to three times a week, sort out his medication and monitor his vital signs including blood pressure. Mr Yeo is now a happier person as he is able to go out of his home more confidently. He enjoys going to the community centre to read the newspaper and has befriended some shopkeepers downstairs.
“My legs feel more comfortable now. It is easier for me to put on my shoes as it does not swell so much. I am grateful that TOUCH has shown such love to me. Because of their help, I can stay put in my home. This is where I want to live out my remaining years,” added Mr Yeo with a smile.