Space to think and write

According to the Population Trends 2013 published by the Department of Statistics, the number of such households grew from 4.6% of all households in 1992 to 9.5% in 2012. Pesvien Neo, 40, is unwed and lives alone in a 3-room flat as she needs her "personal space" to breathe and think.

Growing up the youngest of five children in a three-room flat, Miss Pesvien Neo craved having her own space.

She started living alone from the time she went overseas to study - first to Britain for her bachelor's degree in English language and literature, then to Australia for a master's degree in education.

Miss Neo, 40, who runs a centre teaching English and does freelance copywriting, has previously rented a flat to live on her own and did a stint as a hostel boarding mistress when she taught at Victoria School.

She spent the past two years at her parents' flat as her father, 80, has dementia and her 77-year-old mother needed help to care for him.

"My dad is depressed and my mum is depressed by his condition. It takes a toll on us caring for him and sometimes I feel that I can't breathe," she said.

Earlier this year she moved to her own place - a three-room Housing Board flat she bought in Waterloo Street - when one of her sisters was able to help with the care-giving.

"I need my own space to think, write and paint," she said.

She attributed her preference for solo living to her independent streak and being influenced by Western lifestyles.

"I don't feel lonely living alone. I feel very contented and I have tons of things to occupy myself, such as books to read, movies to watch, paintings to paint and friends to meet," she said.

Her mother calls every day to check on her, she added.

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