Adopt positive mindset towards nursing homes

NTUC Health's first nursing home in Jurong West.
NTUC Health's first nursing home in Jurong West. ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

The National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC) entry into the nursing-home market is a welcome move which can moderate the cost of living in nursing homes ("Reason for the elderly to cheer"; last Saturday, and "NTUC making more inroads into eldercare"; last Thursday).

Given our fast-ageing population, nursing homes are and will be part of our lives.

So, the more we learn about them, the better we will understand the services they provide and how they operate.

Some people tend to react negatively to the idea of a nursing home, as they equate it with a place for older people and those with disabilities to spend their remaining years in.

Others have the notion that residents in nursing homes are likely to be ignored when it comes to their needs and desires, control and privacy issues, and having meaningful lives.

The solution to some of these problems lies in successful nursing-home placement, care and maximum family involvement.

Openness to new possibilities and a positive mindset will help all stakeholders improve the system.

A nursing home can be a good choice for some individuals and their caregivers, if proper planning and preparation are done well in advance.

The setting up of more NTUC nursing homes would be timely, as it acts as a catalyst for reform, especially in the areas of better control, improved service and affordability in this eldercare sector.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2016, with the headline 'Adopt positive mindset towards nursing homes'. Print Edition | Subscribe