Ouch! Elderly woman topples backwards in minibus because wheelchair not properly secured

PHOTO: Poh Eng Seah

Some elderly folks join daycare centres for the respite and additional support but for one 79-year-old woman heading to such a facility for the care, she got into quite a nasty accident even before she reached her centre. 

On Wednesday (Aug 31), this woman's daughter Poh Eng Seah uploaded a video on Facebook showing her toppling off a wheelchair while the vehicle was en route to St. Andrew's Senior Care at Tampines Central.

In the 11-second clip of the incident which happened at around 9.30 am, a man wearing a polo shirt was seen rushing forward to assist her when she fell over. 

In the post, Poh said that the accident happened because the "driver and assistant forgot to secure her wheelchair at the track". 

Poh told AsiaOne that her mother was then in a minibus operated by wheelchair transport company Silveray.

On its website, the company said that it provides "a safe, dependable and dignified wheelchair transport service for our wheelchair-bound and mobility-impaired customers in Singapore". 

It happened when my mum was on the way to day care centre, St Andrew Tampines this morning around 9.30am. Till now she is still at A&E. Driver and assistant forgot to secure her wheelchair at the track.

Posted by Poh Eng Seah on Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Speaking to AsiaOne, Poh shared that her mother was immediately rushed to the Accident & Emergency Department at Changi General Hospital.

To add to their frustrations, Poh said they waited for some 14 hours before her mother was warded, from around 9 am on Wednesday till about 11 pm that same day.

As of now, the 79-year-old woman's condition is unknown as she has to be monitored for 24 hours, according to Poh.

Poh told us that she intends to make a police report.

When contacted by AsiaOne, Silveray would only say that the incident is currently under investigation and declined to comment further. 

AsiaOne has also reached out to St. Andrew's Senior Care for their comment.

There have been similar incidents involving the elderly on wheelchairs in the past. 

Back in 2017, a 77-year-old woman in a wheelchair collided with a bicycle at Toa Payoh, causing her to fall onto the pavement. 

Both the cyclist and her were trying to give way to each other but ended up going in the same direction, 

Thankfully, a group of police officers nearby assisted her. 

Wheelchair users tend to face many obstacles in their daily lives. 

Last year, one wheelchair-bound woman shared how troublesome it was for her to leave her HDB home for her dialysis treatments.

As she lives on the seventh floor with no lift access then, her wheelchair had to be moved to the sixth floor before she could take the lift. 

To get to the lift, she said she also had to go through a "jungle obstacle course" of her neighbour's potted plants and shoes. 

melissateo@asiaone.com