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82-year-old woman lives alone in Dover, but never feels lonely with her neighbours around

She makes friends and looks after other elderly folks in her estate.

Syahindah Ishak | October 16, 12:19 pm

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At 82 years old, she lives alone in her HDB flat at Dover Road.

But her life is never boring.

She knows everyone

In a video by Singapore Kindness Movement on Oct. 14, the woman, who refers to herself as Rose, revealed that she knows most of the people who live in the Dover Road community.

She said:

“Here, I know everyone who lives on the floor above and below my house.

On the 11th floor, there is my friend Mr Tan. On the 8th floor, there is Mr Liu.

And on the 14th floor, there is another Auntie who is also my friend.”

Rose has lived at her Dover Road estate for nearly 50 years.

At the start of the video, she was seen giving high-fives and chit-chatting with other elders.

She conversed fluently in Hokkien throughout the video, with a bit of Cantonese in the beginning.

At one point, she also spoke a bit of Malay when introducing her Malay neighbours.

Likes to socialise

Rose said that she hates being alone and keeping to herself.

“I like walking around freely and chatting with my elderly friends.

It makes me very happy talking to other senior citizens.”

She explained that some of the elderly folks may not know how to take care of themselves, so she will give them advice and reminders.

“When it rains, I tell them to wear the right shoes because it would be hard on them if they fall down.

I also remind them not to take too much sugar and eat less salt.”

Close friendship with next-door neighbour

Rose worked alongside her next-door neighbour at her last workplace.

However, her neighbour was hospitalised after taking a bad fall.

Rose visited him regularly in the hospital.

She said that in the few months after he was discharged, he could still sit up and walk around a little, but became lazy after a while and didn’t want to walk anymore.

He would spend most of his time lying in bed.

His daughter had to go to work and would leave money for the domestic helper to buy food, but the helper didn’t know what to buy for an elderly person.

So Rose took it upon herself to care for her neighbour.

She said:

“I headed downstairs to buy him a packet of chee cheong fun.

Subsequently, every time I went to the kopitiam, I would think of him. And so, I would buy a packet of food for him.”

If her neighbour refused to eat, Rose would sternly remind him of the repercussions of skipping meals and he would eventually listen to her.

Not her real name

In the video, she explained that “Rose” is not her actual name.

“My Indian name is Madam Rasamal.

At the community centre, everyone said that I was beautiful like a rose.

So they called me Auntie Rose and now everyone at Dover Road calls me Auntie Rose too.”

Her past

Rose used to live with her husband and their six children in the same house.

Unfortunately, her husband passed away in a car accident.

Her children gradually left the house too as they each got married and started having their own families.

So Rose was eventually left alone.

However, her children had asked her to move out and live with them, but Rose refused.

She said that she wanted to be close to her neighbours and help them out.

Won an award

Due to her immense care for others, she was awarded HDB’s Good Neighbour Award 2019.

Towards the end of the video, Rose urged others to give help whenever possible.

She said:

“It’s not always possible to help if the problems are big, but our small gestures can also make a difference to others, young and old.

It will make them happy, and make yourself happy too.”

Top photos via Singapore Kindness Movement’s Facebook page.

About Syahindah Ishak

Syahindah has an intense fear of heights so she's thankful she's short.

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