SINGAPORE – Mr Zamry Abdul Karim, who is blind and lives alone in a two-room flat in Sembawang, can get around on his own and buy food or items from shops or stalls he is familiar with.
But grocery shopping is a hurdle for the 50-year-old as he is unable to navigate the shelves in a cramped space by himself.
“I may roughly know what the items are, but they are not placed in the same order all the time, so I can’t be sure that the item is what I need,” said Mr Zamry, whose health issues led him to stop work as a massage therapist.
Some relief came on Saturday (June 20) when volunteers from charity Blossom Seeds and Assyafaah Mosque presented him with a bag of groceries filled with items such as rice, Milo and kaya jam as part of a belated annual Vesak Day distribution drive.
About 200 bags were distributed to seniors and families in need by Blossom Seeds and its partners. The charity, which helps the elderly, was unable to hold such grocery distribution programmes during the circuit breaker period, said its director of active ageing programmes, Ms Sherry Yeo.
To keep seniors active, the charity focused on taking activities online. For instance, it conducted taiji, cooking and yoga classes over video-conferencing platform Zoom, and also engaged seniors through video and phone calls.
A few volunteers also continued helping seniors with essential needs. For instance, Mr Zamry still had help with grocery shopping.
Blossom Seeds also continued to run a medical escort and transport programme for seniors with medical appointments.
Madam Enriquez Cynthia Philomena, 74, who has arthritis, was able to make use of the service to see her rheumatologist at Singapore General Hospital during the circuit breaker.
“I’m very grateful for this service – otherwise, it will take me an hour to get there by public transport, and it will be very troublesome,” she said.