What I Learned From A Ninety-Three Year-Old Lady

Never assume that they are helpless

Summer Lotus
4 min readFeb 16, 2021
By Rosalind Ho

It’s the second day of the Lunar New Year. I decided to tag along with my sister-in-law, Terry who does regular visitations to the homes of elderly people who live alone.

I brought along some oranges, a red packet, and some biscuits and crackers. It was my first time meeting Mdm Tan and I wanted to find out more about her story.

Mdm Bio is 93 years of age and lives in a rented flat, heavily subsidized by the government in the eastern part of Singapore.

(The Singapore Govt has devised a very supportive plan for those who have no other housing options but met the criteria to apply for rental flats. The flats are leased at a very cheap price in many parts of the island, some going for as low as $26 a month.)

Mdm Tan strikes me as very upbeat, sprightly, and receptive. She was watching a television program when we arrived, immediately welcomed us warmly into her house, and offered us New Year snacks.

It was not what I had imagined. I had thought that she would be a very depressed, lonely elderly woman, living within the confines of her own flat with no one to talk to and passing her time with much difficulty.



Summer Lotus

My Chinese name. Inspired by mundane events to write to become more self aware. Challenge seeker, lover of sports, dental surgeon, ardent Toastmaster.