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Mdm Wong's Story - IPCA 2023

"I am an independent person with a positive outlook in life, and I believe in taking care of myself."

I underwent total knee replacement surgery in September 2022, at the age of 80. The cartilage in my right knee had worn out from wear and tear, so for about a year, I experienced pain in that knee which eventually affected my gait and made walking difficult.

At my doctor's recommendation, I opted for robotic surgery, which uses robotic technology to improve the accuracy and precision of the knee replacement. It costs more than conventional surgery, but it turned out to be a good decision. Not only did I recover well, the pain was gone and I was able to move freely and return to my usual activities more quickly.

After my surgery, I was warded at Outram Community Hospital for rehabilitation. During my two weeks there, I made friends with the patients in my ward and we chatted about almost everything under the sun, including my experience volunteering with my Residents' Committee (RC).

To lift our spirits and ease our boredom, I introduced my newfound friends to Rummy-O, a Mahjong-like card game that uses mathematical skills. Everyone enjoyed it very much and it helped to break the ice. These interactions made our hospital stay much more pleasant. I even exchanged phone numbers with them so that we could stay in touch beyond our hospital stay. After my discharge, I would call to encourage them to continue with their rehabilitation exercises.

I am an independent person with a positive outlook in life, and I believe in taking care of myself. After raising my children, I went out to work in my 50s, first at a printing company and then as a cook at a childcare centre. My husband, who is 88, was diagnosed with dementia two years ago. He stays in a nursing home now, and I visit him occasionally. My three children have their own families, but we stay connected.

My social life revolves around my church in Woodlands. There, I have a regular group of friends whom I meet at least twice a week for karaoke, exercise and to cook soup for the old folks living in the area. We would also share our problems and provide emotional support to one another.

I currently live in a five-room flat and it is getting hard for me to keep up with maintaining the home on my own. My plan for the future is to move into one of the newly-launched community care apartments, where I can live more comfortably in my old age.

"Mdm Wong is an 81-year-old lady with an outgoing personality. During her stay in the hospital, she would spread positivity to the other patients in her ward. Her presence would liven up the mood and her fellow patients were always visibly happy to be around her. Her optimistic attitude is infectious and inspires patients and ward staff alike."
Kwan Jih Leong, Wellbeing Coordinator,
Social Prescribing, Office of Community Engagement & Education

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