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10 Jan 2020

10th Jan 2020

Ms Priscylla Shaw, President of Home Nursing Foundation

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Morning. 

1     It is my pleasure to be here today. The Home Nursing Foundation (HNF) has been serving seniors for the past 43 years by providing home care services. I would like to congratulate you on the opening of your first Senior Care Centre.

Supporting Ageing in Place

2      Over the years, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has been focused on helping seniors remain healthy, and to age-in-place. Many seniors have shared that they prefer to age in their homes, in the company of their family and friends. MOH has been developing a range of community care services, including home care to support seniors who are home-bound, as well as senior care centres to support seniors in staying physically well and socially engaged.

3     HNF has been an invaluable partner in supporting seniors to age-in-place. They started in 1976, with the mission to provide home nursing services for needy elderly living in rural areas. I am very glad that HNF has extended its range of services to include centre-based care. I would like to take the opportunity to highlight some key areas in which HNF will be supporting the Ministry’s efforts to better reach out to and serve our seniors in the community.

4     First, HNF will be partnering us in going upstream to help seniors live actively and remain socially engaged in the community. Singaporeans today are living longer, with an expected life expectancy of around 85 years. Longevity is a gift to celebrate, especially if we stay healthy. The co-location of HNF’s first senior care centre within Hougang Community Club would offer opportunities for collaboration with the community to enrich the active ageing programming for seniors. I also look forward to HNF’s upcoming Active Ageing Hub in Buangkok, which will start operations later this year. Seniors can look forward to social activities, health talks and many other learning opportunities.

5     Second, HNF’s new centres would allow it to improve care integration. There is value in service providers offering services across different settings so that seniors can more seamlessly access appropriate services when they need it. For example, seniors attending HNF’s day care are assured that if they become more frail, they will be able to benefit from HNF’s home care services seamlessly.

6     Third, HNF is a good example of how we must constantly seek ways to innovate and improve. I have learnt that this centre has unique features such as artificial carpet grass to provide tactile simulation for seniors during rehabilitation, and a relaxation lounge with aromatherapy to provide a calming atmosphere. HNF also emphasises autonomy in their approach to care, and encourages seniors to decide the pace and activities they participate in, even if it means that the staff have to plan many more activities! Such ideas help to make the centre more welcoming and promote wellbeing.

7     Innovation need not always be the adoption of a latest technology. It could also be in the little things we do to improve clients’ experience. Take for example Ms Edna Woo, who initially hesitated in participating in activities under the Dementia Day Care programme. However, she soon found that the HNF centre provided a comforting environment which she enjoyed. She was also won over by the sincerity and warmth of the care staff. They learnt that she enjoyed singing and playing with children, and arranged opportunities for her to sing her favourite songs, and to interact with student volunteers. Ms Woo now participates more actively in programmes and has become more cheerful. This is a good example of the hardware – the environment, and the heartware – caring centre staff, coming together for the benefit of our seniors.

Closing

8     Partners like HNF play an important role in helping our seniors to age well. However, they cannot do it alone, and caring for seniors takes the whole community. I am heartened that the community has rallied together to support our seniors. From donors, community partners, caregivers, to volunteers who dedicate time and effort to bring a smile to our seniors, I would like to thank everyone for their contributions.

9     Once again, congratulations to HNF on the launch of Wellness@Hougang. I look forward to HNF’s continued partnership in serving seniors and the community.




Category: Speeches