75-year-old mother cries for help as she takes care of her children with mental disabilities

A 75-year-old woman in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, is asking for help as she’s left to take care of her children who suffer from mental health conditions.

In a “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” episode on Sunday, Lola Rosalinda shared that she is not qualified to receive cash aid from the government because she receives monthly pension.

But with so many deductions, what was left of her P12,000 monthly pension was just P3,000.

And even if she wanted to get the amount that remained, she couldn’t leave their home because she was already a senior citizen. There is no one else to take care of her children too.

Joy, a concerned citizen, uploaded the video of Lola Rosalinda and appealed for people to help. Joy shared that the family’s story broke her heart, so she wanted to help as much as she could.

Everyday life

Lola Rosalinda would wake up early every day, cook, clean the house, feed her children, and wash the laundry.

Because her eldest child would have violent tendencies, Lola Rosalinda had to tie her son’s feet to two pieces of wood with a wire.

Her second child would sometimes help her out and help bathe her eldest.

Lola Rosalinda shared that it’s been a long time since she started taking care of everything on her own, as her husband died years ago. She used to make a living from selling things, but with the threat of COVID-19, she couldn’t do that anymore.

Rosalinda shared that life wasn’t always this difficult.

A string of unfortunate events

Rosalinda used to teach at a public school.

“Kahit anong baitang i-assign ako, close ko ang mga bata ko kasi akala nila estudyante din ako,” Lola Rosalinda added.

(“Whatever grade level gets assigned to me, I always managed to establish a rapport with the kids because they thought I was a student too.”)

Eventually, she got married and had four children. Raising four children was not easy. To provide for them, Rosalinda had to take on an extra job selling appliances on weekends.

“Positibo akong mapag-aral ang aking mga anak. Lalong importante kasi ang husband ko ay walang natapos, walang pinag-aralan,” she said.

(“I want my children to finish schooling. It’s important for them to get an education because my husband was not able to graduate.”)

One day, her eldest son had a seizure. Although they sought medical help, he had violent tendencies when they got home. He also started wandering around so Lola Rosalinda had to tie him up.

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Some of her children were able to finish college, but one fell into depression. While the other developed a mental health condition after having a seizure.

One of her children started to wander around too.

“Nagsumikap ako, naghanap ako ng paraan upang hindi siya lalayas. Nakakita ako ng papel, binigyan ko siya, sumulat naman. Simula noon, palagi na akong bumibili ng pad.”

(“I worked hard, I tried to find ways so he’d stay at home. I saw a piece of paper, I gave it to him, and he started writing. Since then, I’d always buy a pad of paper.”)

The following year, her youngest child died. And in 2002, her husband suffered a stroke and Rosalinda was forced to retire to take care of her children and husband. Her husband passed away in 2007.

Hope for a better future

Apart from making ends meet, Rosalinda had also been trying to teach her children how to talk again as they communicated only through hand gestures.

Although she wanted to bring her children to a mental health facility, she didn’t have enough money for it.

“Unti-unti akong nawawalan ng lakas. Ang balak ko ngayon, maghahanap ako ng mga tao na tatanggap sa kanila kung ako’y patay na lalo na matanda na ako. Papayag ako basta kapakanan nila. Titiisin ko kahit masakit man,” the mother said.

(“I’m old and I’m getting weaker. I want to find someone that could take care of my children when I die. I can endure anything for my children.”)

On that day, her former students dropped by and paid her a visit.

Lola Rosalinda was also brought to a doctor for a checkup and her children were brought to a psychiatrist for an evaluation. The psychiatrist advised that her children be enrolled in a mental facility immediately.

The KMJS team got in touch with one of the nearest facilities in the area, The House of Hope in Cagayan de Oro City. They shared that they were willing to extend their assistance to the family.

“Kung maaari sana, pahabain pa ang buhay ko upang makahanap ako ng mga tao na may puso na tutulong sa kanila.”

(“I wish I would live a longer life so I can find people who can help my children.”) — Kaela Malig/RC/LA, GMA News

For those who want to help Lola Rosalinda and her family, please deposit to:

ACCOUNT NAME: ROSALINDA CABILTES
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 09109734685
GCASH/G-XCHANGE, INC.