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MOH to proceed with nursing home in Bishan

It found 5 suggested alternative sites unfeasible but will tweak design

Published on Sep 25, 2012 6:00 AM
 
An artist’s impression of a new nursing home for the elderly will be built along Bishan Street 13. It will be operated by non-profit organisation Lions Home for the Elders. Construction of the 260-bed Lions Home for the Elders is expected to begin early next year and be completed by end-2014. Residents objected when they were told of the planned development in May. -- PHOTO: BISHAN -TOA PAYOH GRC

The Ministry of Health (MOH) will go ahead to build a nursing home in Bishan Street 13, after taking four months to study alternative sites suggested by residents.

It has also tweaked the design of the home in response to their feedback, and will continue to engage residents while it develops the proposed design.

Construction of the 260-bed Lions Home for the Elders is expected to begin early next year and be completed by end-2014. Residents objected when they were told of the planned development in May.

On Monday, MOH said it has been working with the MP, grassroots leaders and residents since then to address their concerns.

 
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Background story

Show solidarity with seniors: Amy Khor

MINISTER of State for Health Amy Khor hopes younger and able-bodied Singaporeans will accept having eldercare facilities like St Joseph's Home in their neighbourhoods.

It would be "an expression of solidarity with those advanced in years in the understanding that all of us will get there some day", she said in a blog post.

In the post, titled "The Spirit of Caring", Dr Khor spoke about the good work that St Joseph's Home has done for the community in her Hong Kah North constituency.

The home, situated on Jurong Road, was set up by the Catholic Welfare Services in 1978 to offer nursing home and hospice services. It plans to roll out several services to ease the load of caregivers in the neighbourhood, said Dr Khor, who praised the home's serene and "resort-like feel" after visiting it last Friday.

St Joseph's will be the first nursing home here to offer an overnight respite service, said Dr Khor. Called "Dusk-to-Dawn", it aims to help dementia patients who suffer from sundown syndrome, becoming confused and agitated after dusk.

The home also plans to offer bathing facilities and services to the elderly living in nearby one-room flats.

Noting the physical and mental burden on caregivers, Dr Khor said it is important to strengthen their access to a "strong network of support services" and that having nursing homes and eldercare facilities in the community is a practical way of doing so.

While she was glad to see students volunteering at the home, Dr Khor said it is also important for eldercare administrators to engage people of all ages and work closely with the community. "In this way, the community will see the facilities as part of the infrastructure, and not as an added burden," she added.