Meet Mdm Loo
In 2014, Madam Loo Shao Mei was diagnosed with a tumour in her bones. Since then, the 70-year-old retired secondary school Chinese teacher hasn’t been able to walk without assistance.
For the last 6 years, she has been relying on various mobility aids such as a walking cane and a four-wheel walker to get around. When she travels out of the house, she prefers to use a three-wheeled electric scooter.
Growing A Culture Of Care
Mdm Loo feels that awareness of commuters with different needs is improving in Singapore. But she wishes that more would initiate help, especially when she is going up slopes, taking the lift at the train stations or confronting a bumpy terrain.
“On slopes, I may slide backwards, especially if it has been raining,” she elaborates.
“Mobility devices may also get stuck on uneven ground. In these situations, if someone is passing and can give me a push, of course that would be helpful.”
Don’t be “Paiseh”
That being said, she recalls some heart-warming encounters.
“Parents would always tell their kids to let me pass first or don’t block my way,” shares Mdm Loo.
“Especially the young parents, they are taking the initiative to cultivate this awareness in their kids. I think this is quite caring toward the elderly.”
Mdm Loo sees this as a growing culture of care in the younger generation as compared to the past.
She adds: “I think this shows the increasing level of empathy Singaporeans have, the ability to put themselves in our shoes.”
To those who may still be hesitant to initiate help to commuters using mobility devices, Mdm Loo would like to encourage commuters to just be brave.
“People may have the idea that they should do something, but they fear rejection, so they don’t do it. They fear awkwardness and embarrassment,” shares Mdm Loo.
“Don’t be shy, you need to be brave. Break these psychological barriers, and just dare to ask. Even if someone says there is no need, they’ll still thank you for even offering.”
Discover more inspiring stories and share your own experiences with caring commuters at https://www.caringcommuters.gov.sg/community