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Tue, Mar 10, 2009
The Sunday Times
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Warmth is all around
by Tay Suan Chiang and Rachael Boon

Who: Sales executive Adrian Lee, 35, manager Anna Leow, 33, their son Astemus Lee, seven, housewife Pok Chiew Lan, 56, and freelance engineer Leow Choo Phin, 61

Home: Four-bedroom executive flat in Tampines

Sales executive Adrian Lee is all for having a set of parents live with him.

'Having the elderly live with us somehow adds more warmth to the home,' he says.

For the past three years, his parents- in-law have been living with his family.

His wife, Ms Leow, says 'it is convenient to have my parents with me'.

The couple used to live in a four-room flat across from her parents' home. When Astemus was younger, they would drop him off at their place each day.

'We decided to get a bigger flat so that we can all live together,' says Ms Leow. The couple, their son and their parents all have their own bedrooms.

Knowing that their son is in his grandparents' care means the couple can concentrate on their careers.

'I wouldn't trust my son with a maid,' says Mr Lee.

Ms Leow adds: 'My parents are now very healthy but if they fall sick one day, it would be easier for us to take care of them, too.'

For Madam Pok, living with her daughter and her family means she does not get lonely since she can be with her only grandchild.

Apart from taking care of him, she still gets her own private time during the day when he is in school.

While there can be disagreements at home sometimes, Ms Leow says the trick is to 'be understanding and to forgive and forget'.

Mr Lee says: 'Sometimes, parents can be very naggy but I wouldn't want to live without them.'

This article was first published in The Sunday Times.

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