Caption: Mr Ibrahim living well and ageing gracefully at home
“I have full control of my life now. I still try to do what I can like wash my own clothes. My mantra in life is to be happy. I always tell other seniors to do what they like. Don’t worry too much. No matter what state you are in, there will be people who can help you.”
At 92, Mr Ibrahim does not look his age. He credits his youthful looks to years of sports and exercise, and more importantly, his sense of humour. Although he suffers from health issues, including hypertension, diabetes and a heart condition, Mr Ibrahim believes in staying positive.
Loving the outdoors, Mr Ibrahim would clock in at least an hour a day after work to exercise in his younger days. From hiking at MacRitchie Reservoir to playing tennis, football, badminton, running and swimming, he kept a sporty lifestyle. Speaking five languages and dialects, he was a sociable person with many friends.
“It was great exercising with friends. Those were good memories. But sadly, many of them have passed on and the rest have become frail,” said Mr Ibrahim.
Caption: As an avid footballer in his younger days, Mr Ibrahim was also the treasurer of his football club
Even when Mr Ibrahim retired at 52, after working for thirty years in a travel agency, he continued playing tennis till he was in his 60s when he had to go for his cataract operation. However, as the years passed, he could no longer do rigorous sports and settled for lighter exercises. He also started having health issues.
Three years ago at the age of 89, Mr Ibrahim had a fall at home. He hit his head against a TV console and had to be hospitalised for three days. He was then homebound for six months as he was fearful of falls. He could only move around with a walking frame and had difficulties doing simple tasks at home.
“I would feel breathless and giddy easily. I felt sad when I could no longer go to the coffeeshop for my daily chats with friends. As I live alone, I could only depend on my brother to come over to help me,” added Mr Ibrahim.
TOUCH Home Care was then roped in to provide home care services, including housekeeping, meals delivery, therapy and medical escort for his hospital appointments.
Caption: Therapy aide Ms Audrey Tan (left) helping Mr Ibrahim (right) build core strength to improve mobility
The road to recovery
With Mr Ibrahim’s strong motivation to get back on his feet, the home care team worked with him to identify his therapy goals, which included visiting a nearby mall to satisfy his craving for his favourite chicken meal. With this in mind, TOUCH’s therapy team focused on strengthening his core muscles and balance, and taught Mr Ibrahim how to manage his daily tasks at home. He was soon able to make short trips downstairs with the help of a walking stick to check his letterbox.
As he progressed, the therapists brought him to the market across the street. He was also taught how to use YouTube, WhatsApp and TraceTogether. When Mr Ibrahim finally fulfilled his wish of visiting a mall, he was overwhelmed with joy. Along the way, he met many neighbours and stallholders who waved and greeted him.
Caption: Learning to take public transport safely
Caption: Mr Ibrahim (left), accompanied by occupational therapist Ms Koh Wee Xin (right), learning to navigate his way at a nearby mall
Caption: TOUCH’s therapists pausing to take a Wefie during a meal at a mall
“It was an eye-opener to see how much things have changed during the pandemic. It has been a long while since I have visited a mall! I felt great!” said Mr Ibrahim.
“I have full control of my life now. I still try to do what I can like wash my own clothes. My mantra in life is to be happy. I always tell other seniors to do what they like. Don’t worry too much. No matter what state you are in, there will be people who can help you,” added Mr Ibrahim with a smile.