Rare, extreme case, say social workers
Most elderly people who are found dead at home lived alone.
But in this case, the deceased was living with his wife and 30-year-old son.
Social workers told The New Paper that this was a rare and extreme case.
And they could not stress the importance of communication among family members enough.
Mr Peter Heng, the treasurer of Nam Hong Welfare Service Society, said: "Communication is very important because without it, there would be no bond in the family."
He said there might be cases where a person is too stubborn to share his medical condition, but the family members should still be alert enough to know that something is wrong and ensure that proper medical attention is sought.
"If you have a dispute and do not talk to each other, I don't think it should be to the extent where you ignore the other person's health," he said.
Mr Heng also said that if a mental condition runs in the family, there should be another person taking care of the household.
He told The New Paper: "Neighbours who know about their situation should report it to the relevant agencies and social groups, such as community services or family centres, and ask them for help.
"That way, social workers can visit the family regularly and provide food and medical attention whenever necessary."
Mrs Lucy Tan, 69, the centre manager of Peace-Connect Seniors Activity Centre, said that communication is important for people who live together because it makes the home a place to be at ease.
She said: "Not only does it help to set a lot of things in place, it reduces anxiety and it aids in the fostering of bonds."
Mrs Tan has been a social worker for 20 years, and though she has seen people who do not talk much to the other party living in the same home, there is usually still some form of communication.
Mr Kavin Seow, 54, director of Touch Home Care, gave some pointers for people living with elderly people.
He said: "Family members living with an elderly person could pay more attention to any changes in his or her behaviour, like walking more unsteadily or looking drowsy.
"If an elderly person goes into a room on his own and closes the door, it would be good to check on him after some time rather than leaving him alone for too long."