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Thread: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

  1. #1

    Default Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    Recently I did some volunteer clean up to help some old people at their home...

    The process is tedious than I expected as these old people just want to store so many things which something are so old and not working and yet they cannot part to throw away...

    I just saw the same issue with a Channel 8 show where our Singapore actor and actress goes to people house to clean up and I can similar behaviour pattern from old people and I realised that one of the reasons is they spend so much money on it and cannot bear to throw it away...

    How do you convince them that these stuff must throw away so that new one can come in from sponsor...the problem is that they even reject sponsor stuff as the emotional attachments are there...
    Last edited by FM2; 22nd February 2010 at 08:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    i think one has to understand their background, it may be that those old folks grow up in tough (ie no $$) environment, so they has always been recycle stuff to save $$. as time goes by, it becomes a habbit to keep stuff, thinking that someday it will come in useful. you know as people get older, we becomes forgetful & pray hard not senil.

    also, some are abandon by their children & had to fight hard to survive. note i say survive, not live, there is a difference.

    just like smoking, you cant expect them to change overnight. as volunteers i believe must have large amount of bear with them. dont forget, you guys only go help out once a while, most likely only know about the living std but have u live as them?

    a plate of plain rice for the whole day. we know, but until you live as them, than you can fully understand why they are / has become as they are now.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by FM2 View Post
    they even reject sponsor stuff as the emotional attachments are there...
    Exactly. So why should they give in to the blind materialism that seems all the rage in SG these days? They value their memories over new stuff that's just hollow empty items to them. I'd say it's only the materialistic, those obsessed with always having the latest and greatest, that cannot appreciate what "sentimentality" really is.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    Lonely old folks don't keep their money in bank and stuff them here and there in their house.Please don't throw away their secret savings, though the amount may be small in comparing to what most of others have !

  5. #5

    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    when u reach their age, sure there will be something that you want to keep rather then throw away. If that time comes when ur kids complain u keep too much junk and what to throw away, maybe if u think back, you would really understand how they feel that time :P

  6. #6

    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    i was about to cry. i was feeling sad watching that show. that old lady use a 50 years old dictionary. and with her children who dont work to feed the family, this old lady had to save everything she had especially food like the rice for example, she kept for a year old ! Sob sob.. i feel like helping her family..

  7. #7

    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    Are you aware that lonely and poor people are afraid of openness and emptiness, it is just like why people like to be cuddle and in crowd. So when you remove something, you must replace something in that area.

  8. #8
    Member NeTHaCk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by spheredome View Post
    Are you aware that lonely and poor people are afraid of openness and emptiness, it is just like why people like to be cuddle and in crowd. So when you remove something, you must replace something in that area.
    however, removing the item not necessarily be the same.

    attachment emotions are not easy- especially in older folks. they suffered and lived through it to get where they are with what they have. things that they own hold sentimental values. the memories that they have of that item is most precious to them.

    so ts, they dont care about the sponsorship, what they have - the memories they hold are more important than bartering with newer items .

    how would you feel if one day, someone goes over to you takes everything away from you and gives you a new one ? i still hold dear to my Fujifilm S1pro though it's spoilt and takes up space in my dry cabinet. i only fired 200+ shots when i bought it 2nd hand yet those precious moments are the ones i hold dear as it was my first dslr
    Nikon D7000 : Tamron 17-50VC f2.8, SB-900
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by FM2 View Post
    How do you convince them that these stuff must throw away so that new one can come in from sponsor...the problem is that they even reject sponsor stuff as the emotional attachments are there...
    just get the people who BBB nonstop to talk to them.

    after a while, you will see the old folks brandishing D3, nikkor 14-24, and a gitzo tripod and a dry cabinet.. along with multiple flashes.

    then you can throw away all their stuff, and they will have no problem with it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    It's not just for the old, I believe anyone of any age will do the same for things that hold dear to them..

    Lots of items holds deep sentimental value, and as you get older (and their loved ones have left them), the only things that would remind them of their children/spouses are those items.

    Is there a need for new items? Maybe you can get them to keep the sentimental items aside instead of throwing them away.

  11. #11

    Smile Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    the issue is that such volume of 'sentimental' items has grown to such quantity and are left cluttered on the floor of their house, left untouched and collecting dusts. my mother-in law, in her 80s, cluttered the limited floor space with such items in her bedroom. always accusing her children of 'stealing' or disposing of such items.

  12. #12
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    Like me I value things that are valuable to me...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    Every 20 years or so, I will replace my old wife for a new younger one.......we need to learn to let go of things.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    What's wrong with not wanting to throw stuff away?they're happy withtheir mess so why feel the need to impose your idea of what's good on them?

  15. #15
    Member adorable's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    I think it's a common habit among people. I also has lots of clothes and other stuff which I haven't been using for many years and yet I still don't want to throw away
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by adorable View Post
    I think it's a common habit among people. I also has lots of clothes and other stuff which I haven't been using for many years and yet I still don't want to throw away
    I used to have many shirts unused, T shirts unused (like in 2 big 25KG FedEx boxes) which I gave away to some Church that donates it to Cambodia, and others I gave to the cleaners at my old Sengkang HDB flat.......I kept my old T shirts that were already used by me, but I don't use them now.

    I keep using the same set of shirts and keep rotating through it for the week, and sometimes I buy them of the same colour...... So, people always see me in the same clothing throughout the weeks/years, never change one, thinking I never wash them
    in fact if I don't really sweat, I use the shirt for 2 days.....don't waste water and environment mah

    Somehow, I also don't want to throw away my used T shirts, although I don't use them anymore, find it a waste to throw it away......

    What should I do with my old wife?..............

  17. #17

    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    Errr..maybe I didn't clarify better..if things r ok'd n working, volunteers don't throw..what if it is food container which has rust n stain etc, bed matress are so worn n flush to the same level as the bed stand..we cannot throw and yet cannot bring in a new one...the book shelf are so dusty that silverworm has infested the books..the old cloth are so much that it is pile up the bedroom till there is a smell of urine....basically it is not a proper well kept house n volunteers r trying to help..n hit resistance..
    Last edited by FM2; 23rd February 2010 at 08:35 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    If you are giving them something they don't want or perceive a need for. Are you really helping them? Things like mattresses are really personal items. Even some young people have trouble falling asleep when they are in a new bed. It is probably a lot worse for people who have been using the same bed for even longer.

    Before doing charity, did you ask whether that is what they need? It sounds like what is going on in Haiti where people are donating tents when they already have enough and what they need and food.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by FM2 View Post
    Errr..maybe I didn't clarify better..if things r ok'd n working, volunteers don't throw..what if it is food container which has rust n stain etc, bed matress are so worn n flush to the same level as the bed stand..we cannot throw and yet cannot bring in a new one...the book shelf are so dusty that silverworm has infested the books..the old cloth are so much that it is pile up the bedroom till there is a smell of urine....basically it is not a proper well kept house n volunteers r trying to help..n hit resistance..
    This is my take as weekly volunteer for elderly for many years.

    Basically we can try to explain to them base on our perceptive and understanding how it can help them , but it will ultimately be up to them to accept or not to accept it.

    Some of "these stuff" may be deem useless to us , but to them , it holds great value. As a volunteer , there is no hard and fast rule unless it is deem a danger to themselves and others(even then , we will have to seek their permission) .

    Be flexible in the approach - *listen* & *respect* their views may win their hearts over the long run.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Why old people cannot part with old stuff

    Ok, Thanks...I think no matter how much it pain us to see them like that but it is kind of hard to convince them to change new one cos I noted is that they like to lament here and there...lost money in stock money, cheated by people, money all gone etc etc...they cant seem to trust people who are there to give them something cos some people in society stole away their trust...
    now I understand what it means for those who are in the front line serving our old folk society..so draining mentally to deal with stubborn old folks...they keep on telling me I lost money buying Cosco...I should be a millionaire today...etc etc etc...and they just hold you and want to tell your of the years of failure they have etc etc...I just look into their eyes and nod my head...what can I do ?

    but some other old folks are very nice and happy that you come and help them...salute you kikat...


    Quote Originally Posted by kitkat View Post
    This is my take as weekly volunteer for elderly for many years.

    Basically we can try to explain to them base on our perceptive and understanding how it can help them , but it will ultimately be up to them to accept or not to accept it.

    Some of "these stuff" may be deem useless to us , but to them , it holds great value. As a volunteer , there is no hard and fast rule unless it is deem a danger to themselves and others(even then , we will have to seek their permission) .

    Be flexible in the approach - *listen* & *respect* their views may win their hearts over the long run.
    Last edited by FM2; 23rd February 2010 at 11:18 PM.

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