82-Year-Old Cleaner In Singapore Works To Take Care Of Wife, Inspires Woman Who Chatted With Him

Senior citizens working is a rather common sight in Singapore.

One elderly cleaner caught the eye of a woman when she saw that he struggled to walk and had to rely on a walking stick.

The woman approached the cleaner and started chatting with him.

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When she found out that the 82-year-old cleaner Uncle Ming was working to take care of his wife who requires dialysis, she helped connect him with Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

Despite all his hardships, the woman was touched to see how Uncle Ming remained content and thankful.

After their interaction, the woman felt she was the one who benefitted and learnt so much from him about resilience.

82-year-old cleaner supports wife & himself

Earlier this month, the woman Ms Lee shared on Facebook that she came across an elderly cleaner who struggled to walk.

The incident appears to have taken place at a sitting area near Frontier canteen at NUS’ Faculty of Science.

elderly cleaner contentedSource

He went about cleaning tables armed with a wet cloth in one hand, and a walking stick in the other.

elderly cleaner contentedSource

The scene before Ms Lee made her emotional and she decided to have a chat with him.

She got to know Uncle Ming. He is 82 with no children.

Working as a cleaner, he earns $1,300 a month. With that sum of money, he supports his wife who suffers from medical problems and has to go for kidney dialysis every week.

Not only that, Uncle Ming takes the taxi to work everyday due to his mobility troubles and poor eyesight. Just the cost of his transport between home and work costs about $300 a month.

Netizen helps Uncle Ming apply for financial aid

Learning of his predicament, the woman informed Uncle Ming that there are several government schemes available to help senior citizens like him.

The pair then contacted MSF together, where the staff assured them that they will follow up with him soon. Hopefully, this means Uncle Ming would qualify for monthly aid.

Before she left, Ms Lee asked Uncle Ming if he was in need of anything.

He thanked her for her help, saying,

I am ok, just me and my wife, we have enough.

Uncle Ming also explained that they get their weekly supply of rice from a mosque.

Woman learns from elderly cleaner’s optimism

Reflecting upon her chance encounter with Uncle Ming, Ms Lee felt that she learnt a lot from the elderly cleaner.

Although being a cleaner might not be a “sensational” job, she felt Uncle Ming was “extraordinary”.

elderly cleaner contentedSource

The way he lived his life exemplified gratitude, contentment and resilience.

Despite qualifying for government aid, he chooses to work and support his wife and himself, to lead a dignified life even at his age.

elderly cleaner contentedSource

Besides all that, Ms Lee said Uncle Ming remains thankful through his adversities and still has a positive outlook on life.

You can read the netizen’s full post here.

Public can help elderly by connecting them to agencies

Ms Lee shared that she does not wish for her post to be politicised in any way. After all, many elderly choose to work and support themselves.

However, she wanted to raise awareness on how the public can help senior citizens like Uncle Ming in sustainable ways.

She expresses that although grants are available for the elderly, many of them are not aware. The best we can do is to connect them with these agencies.

If you encounter elderly like Uncle Ming that could benefit from help, you can also connect them with MSF Community Care at 1800-222-0000.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and Facebook.