Do you sometimes wonder why the elderly on the train or even buses aren't sitting down? A redditporean, MissCreepyStories started a thread regarding this topic. He weighed in with two very valid points such as them not being able to stand up from their seats when they reach their stop and them not daring to let go of the support poles to get to the empty seats.
You can read the full post here:
I did not realise how much of a challenge balancing on a moving MRT was for the elderly until I saw two incidents.
Incident 1: Elderly man couldn't get up from his seat without help
An elderly man was hesitant about taking a seat in the middle of the cabin even though someone offered an empty seat to him. He did so with some persuasion. 10 minutes later, I realised why he was hesitant. When the train was reaching his stop, he tried to stand up from his seat in the middle of the cabin. He was unable to get up from the seat by himself with no pole to hold onto. He was waving his arms and trying to stop himself from falling as he got up from the seat on just his two legs. The other commuters had to hold him as he was in danger of falling down.
Incident 2: Elderly man didn't dare to walk to an empty seat
Another elderly man was standing in the MRT cabin, surrounded by at least three empty priority seats. I was wondering why he chose to stand, when an auntie started to prod him to sit down in one of the empty priority seats. It turned out that he was afraid of let go of the pole he was holding on to. There was a young man leaning against the partition who was just slightly blocking his path to the empty seat. Just letting go of the pole and navigating that little detour on a moving train was a huge challenge to the elderly man.
We don't understand the problems of the elderly because we have never been in their position and we look at things from our lenses instead.
Even I do that. I have a 70-year-old mother. I was out shopping with my Mom. I was right behind my Mom. My Mom had turned her head away for a second and there was a little girl (maybe eight-years-old) who walked into our view from our left. She was going to collide with my Mom in one second. I saw the little girl nearing Mom, and in that split second, I remembered what I was thinking. I was like, ah, Mum will be okie. If that small little girl had walked into me from the side, I would be fine.
Instead, what happened was that my Mom literally bounced off the little girl as if the little girl was a rock. My Mom lost her footing completely. I was like WTF and I grabbed my Mom's arm. I had misjudged the situation because I had looked at things from my lenses instead of my Mom's. The elderly are really fragile.
If you see an elderly person on the train, you might want to offer to hold their arm to get to a seat or something. Some of them are too embarrassed to admit that they need help with something as simple as walking across a moving train floor or getting up.
Usually, many Singaporeans find that many of the elderlies are entitled and demand for seats on the trains. But this redditporean sure opened up the minds of many others with this post. However, even if the elderlies were being entitled, we should still show some respect to them and help them in any way we can.