77-Year-Old Hawker At Beo Crescent Market Suffers From Urinary Incontinence

In Singapore, it’s not uncommon to see mature workers hustling every day despite being in their silver years.

Some might have the privilege of choosing to do it to stave off boredom. But for a vast majority, they toil to put food on the table.

A 77-year-old hawker in Beo Crescent Market recently gained attention for doing so, even as he suffers from chronic diseases like high blood pressure and urinary incontinence.

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This is Uncle Li’s story.

Hawker works 7am-7pm daily at Beo Crescent Market

According to China Press Johor on Saturday (13 Aug), Uncle Li – surname directly translated from Chinese – has been plying his trade at the drinks stall in Beo Crescent Market for 57 years.

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Even in his ripe old age of 77, he continues to work hard. After his wife passed away, he lives alone and quietly tries to make ends meet by working 7am-7pm daily.

Yet, the pandemic and his ailing health dealt his livelihood a blow, Shin Min Daily News reports.

He suffers from stiff legs, high blood pressure, diabetes, and recently, urinary incontinence—the inability to control one’s bladder.

Hawker has to wear adult diapers due to urinary incontinence

Uncle Li told the Chinese daily reporter that since the pandemic hit, he’s been taking home less than $2,000.

“I don’t have much savings. I have to see the doctor regularly and take medication every day. That’s why I have to continue to work hard so I can support myself,” he said.

And in the last 2-3 years, Uncle Li said he started suffering from urinary incontinence. Now, he needs to wear adult diapers and change them 2-3 times a day.

40-minute journey to the toilet

As the market has been fenced off recently, there is reportedly only one entrance and exit point. This also means that Uncle Li has to walk a further distance to visit the toilet.

What used to be a 5-minute walk to the washroom has now become a 20-minute journey. In total, it takes him 40 minutes to walk back and forth.

Image from Shin Min Daily News
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“I couldn’t hold my bladder a few times, and it caused some dissatisfaction with others. But I made sure to clean up right away to ensure public hygiene,” he shared.

Uncle Li said he hopes to continue working as long as his health permits it. But given his current condition, he thinks it is likely he might have to retire within 2 years.

MS News has reached out to the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) for comment.

Find Uncle Li at Beo Crescent Market to support him

It’s heartbreaking to see the elderly working their fingers to the bone to earn a living. And Uncle Li’s story is one of many in our community.

If you’d like to support Uncle Li personally, you can head down to Beo Crescent Market and Food Centre and find him at one of the drinks stalls.

If you know anyone who requires financial assistance, you can contact the Agency of Integrated Care (AIC) at 1800-650-6060 or the Community Chest hotline at 1800-210 2600.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from Google Maps and China Press Johor.