Man Who Posted About 82 yo Aunty: Stop Harassing Her, She Doesn’t Need More Attention

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The Ministry of Social and Family Development has responded to the widely-publicised story of a 82-year-old woman and her allegedly dire situation.

A Singaporean man had posted about her plight online after a chance encounter on the train. He said that she was struggling with a low-paying job, old age and lack of help from family members. He blamed all this on the flawed system we have in Singapore.

Contrary to what he had publicised, the old woman is living in a 5-room flat with her son’s family and a domestic helper. Her son works to support them but she took up a cleaning job to help with other household expenses.

The old woman used to earn $1300 but had to settle for a part-time position that pays half the amount due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although she is a Permanent Resident who has never applied for citizenship, Social Service Officers will help assess her eligibility for the COVID-19 support grant. She will likely receive monthly payouts, food vouchers and help for medical expenses, among other things.

The man who made the story viral has since acknowledged that there were discrepancies in his post. He did not apologise but said that he was only trying to help. Instead, he advised people to respect the woman’s privacy and not harass her.

For the sake of acting in her best interests, I implore everybody to respect her wishes to be left alone, so as not to cause an elderly person any more stress, or possibly even risk her losing her job from the constant attention she receives at her workplace.

So much for impulsively posting it on social media and drawing attention to her. Granted that he may have really wanted to help, there are definitely better ways of doing so.

Helping someone is a long-term process that involves a lot of listening, sharing and assessment. Anyone can have good intention but it will only help them most if we do so in a more measured and appropriate manner.

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