|The MWS Community Eldercare cluster comprises 7 MWS Senior Activity Centres and an integrated MWS Home Care & Home Hospice network. We provide a continuum of care to seniors ranging from active to the pre-frail and chronically ill to empower them to age in place, live and leave in dignity.|
When Mr Ang Hock Huat's wife was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in 2018, his world fell apart. "My wife changed a lot with dementia. She became aggressive and violent, and suffered from memory loss. She also had to be supervised in daily living tasks such as showering, toileting and dressing," recounted Mr Ang.
The 61-year-old had to quit his storeman's job of 20 years to take care of his wife. "I fell into depression and had trouble sleeping and eating, as I did not know how to cope with my wife's dementia. I saw a doctor myself and was given anti-depressants and sleeping pills. A counsellor also attended to my mental health needs."
In November 2018, Mr Ang was referred to MWS Active Ageing Centre - Kebun Baru. Mr Ang became a regular face at the Centre, where he found support among the MWS staff and other members.
"Whenever I tell the staff here about my challenges caring for my wife, they will encourage and console me, and tell me that I'm not alone. They taught me to look beyond my problems and cherish the good things in life," Mr Ang shared.
The staff also encouraged him to join activities at the Centre like Tai Chi, table games and ukulele classes to stay active, healthy and socially engaged. Such activities helped to alleviate his depressive symptoms, said Mr Ang. He stressed that investing in self-care has helped to sustain him in his caregiving role.
Wanting to pay it forward, Mr Ang has since stepped up to volunteer as a game facilitator and befriender at the Centre. "MWS' support has made me emotionally and mentally strong enough to even help others," Mr Ang shared.
Over time, Mr Ang's depression began to subside and his doctor gradually reduced his medication dosage. In May 2022, Mr Ang fully recovered from depression and stopped taking medication.
Compared to his "sullen" self when he first joined the Centre, Mr Ang said that he now feels much more cheerful and optimistic. Although he describes the task of caring for his wife as a marathon, he feels better equipped to face the challenges of caregiving positively. He mused, "After the storm, the sun will shine again."
MWS believes that vulnerable people also have inherent strengths and abilities. In empowering our residents, we can meet their physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs more effectively and provide a higher quality of life.