|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.|
As a volunteer leader with MWS Senior Activity Centre (SAC) – Teck Ghee Vista, Lily is encouraged to tap on her passion and interest to lead active ageing initiatives.
This is in line with MWS' strength-based approach where seniors are perceived as persons of ability and co-managers of their own well-being.
"I've been volunteering with MWS since 2017, where I'd hold weekly line dancing lessons at MWS SAC – Teck Ghee Vista, and from 2020 at MWS SAC – Kebun Baru as well. These sessions not only give me a chance to share and teach something I enjoy, I've personally also learnt what being a leader means," said Lily while taking a break between her dance sessions.
Clearly, the joyful expressions of the other seniors and their reluctance to leave showed how much they look forward to Lily's lessons, because she radiates energy and love!
Lily has also stepped up to co-ordinate with her line dancing groups to put up performances during celebratory occasions. "Whenever the seniors learn a new dance, their smile and sense of achievement never fail to make my day. I find teaching dance a meaningful way to help seniors gain confidence while staying active! Lily shared.
Beyond encouraging our seniors to take the lead in active ageing, MWS SACs have been ramping up the Community Befriending Service in which members and volunteers are trained to reach out to home-bound seniors in the neighbourhood.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited in-person activities at the Centre. Lily and other members have been mobilised to check on the well-being of seniors who are sheltering at home.
Indeed, it is because of the Centres' active outreach in the community that they were able to quickly identify those who are frail, chronically-ill, and home-bound.
One senior who benefitted from such outreach was Mr Ang*.
MWS first came to know Mr Ang through our Community Befriending Service at MWS SAC – GreenTops@Sims Place. He was also referred by Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) to MWS Home Care & Home Hospice.
"TTSH had referred Mr Ang to us in 2018 for home care services. After a thorough assessment of his needs, we realised Mr Ang also needed help with housekeeping, organising his medication, and reminders about his meals and medical appointments.
In addition, we customised a physiotherapy programme for him and encouraged him to exercise at the senior gym at our SAC," shared Dr Dennis Chia, Head of MWS Home Care & Home Hospice.
Unfortunately, Mr Ang's condition deteriorated in May 2020 and he was subsequently diagnosed with prostate cancer.
"As a result of MWS’ collaboration with the TTSH Community Health Team, we were able to identify the best care options for Mr Ang in the community. We eventually admitted him to Tembusu Integrated Home and Day Care for more intensive care. This averted the need for multiple re-admissions into the hospital and allowed him to stay in the community," said Dr Dennis.
When Mr Ang eventually passed on, staff from our MWS SAC and MWS Home Care & Home Hospice as well as volunteers from our partner church attended his funeral service.
"With Singapore's ageing population and shrinking family sizes, we foresee there will be more and more people requiring such coordinated and integrated eldercare in the community," shared Dr Dennis.*Not his real name