35 Volunteers Cleaned Up Elderly’s Infested Home Despite Covid-19 So He Can Sleep Inside Again

Covid-19 has definitely brought about some struggles for everyone, but it is the elderly that have been hit the hardest.

There are many old people who live alone and are no longer able to make a living for themselves after losing their jobs.

So they have to resort to extreme lengths to keep themselves going, like sleeping on a piece of cardboard outside on the corridor every night.

Elderly Man Slept Outside As His Flat Was Infested With Bugs

An 81-year-old man who lives in a one-room rental flat has been sleeping outside his house because his entire flat is filled with trash and infested with cockroaches and rats.

And he would have had to continue living that way if a group of volunteers from Keeping Hope Alive had not cleaned out his apartment last Sunday, 6 September.

The 35 volunteers who cleaned his flat at Block 64 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh were greeted with a shocking sight when they first entered.

Image: Facebook (Keeping Hope Alive)

“Big cockroaches would run out,” Ms Fion Phua, founder of Keeping Hope Alive, told The New Paper.

It Took 35 Volunteers To Clean Out The Flat 

The volunteer group posted a series of videos on their Facebook page, which showed the volunteers working hard to clean out the dirty flat.

Posted by Fion Phua on Saturday, 5 September 2020

All of them were wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), which included a mask, face shield and two layers of surgical gloves. They even had to apply medical ointment to deal with the pungent smell in the apartment.

Due to the flat being filled to the brim with scraps, they could not even enter through the front door and had to access the flat via the back door through the kitchen instead.

They then cleaned everything and packed it into a total of 35 large plastic bags before bringing it out of the house.

It took the 35 volunteers a total of seven hours to clean the whole flat. They took turns to work in groups of 5, due to social distancing rules.

Posted by Fion Phua on Saturday, 5 September 2020

The videos posted to their Facebook page are pretty nasty, as you can see rats, ants and cockroaches living amongst all the scraps and trash that had accumulated in the flat over time.

Image: Facebook (Keeping Hope Alive)

Ms Phua said that they caught a total of 12 rats by the end of 7 hours.

The Man Never Intended To Be A Hoarder

The group only came to know about the man’s living situation when they were visiting his neighbour a while ago.

They found it quite odd that he wore dirty clothes, walked around barefoot and slept on sheets of cardboard along the corridor outside his flat. Sensing that something was wrong, they decided to look into the situation.

After the clean-up session, the elderly man now has a bed to sleep in comfortably, and he no longer has to spend his nights with cockroaches and rats.

He told Lianhe Wanbao that he never intended to be a hoarder. He has been living alone in the flat for four years and collects and sells discarded items to make a living.

“I didn’t hoard scraps on purpose, it’s just that I can’t sell them now, so they’re all collecting at home. I’m also old and I don’t have the strength to clean,” he said.

He also said that he had gotten used to sleeping with pests after doing it for so long.

Thanks to the efforts of Keeping Hope Alive, the man will now be able to live more comfortably in his clean apartment.

Hopefully, someone will check in on him once in a while to make sure that he’s doing okay and that the flat does not go back to the way it was before.

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