SINGAPORE - A new nursing home Jurong East has adopted enhanced standards of care set by the authorities that came into force last month.
The fourth home to be operated by All Saints Home, a voluntary welfare organisation, also offers its first dementia care ward.
It was officially opened Friday (May 20) by All Saints Home Chairman, Mr Chua Hung Seng, and Minister of State for Health, Dr Lam Pin Min.
In his speech, Dr Lam said MOH's priority is to ensure seniors in nursing homes receive safe, quality care.
The ministry launched the Enhanced Nursing Home Standards (ENHS) in 2014 as a platform to work towards better care by clearly stating the standards and outcomes nursing homes should strive for.
Introduced as part of licensing requirements in April last year, the standards have been enforced since last month.
All Saints Home worked with MOH and the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) to meet them. Its Jurong East home as been operational since September last year.
"I am happy to note that All Saints Home has participated actively in AIC's quality improvement initiatives and training programmes, and would similarly like to encourage all nursing homes to do so to provide better care to our seniors," said Dr Lam.
MOH aims to increase nursing home beds from 12,000 today to 17,000 by 2020 in order to meet the needs of Singapore's ageing population.
All Saints Home started in 1986 with a 30-bed home at Poh Huat Road and now offers a total of 734 beds.
The Reminiscence Walkway, one of the new facilities in its 49-bed dementia care ward, is an open air pathway where scenes of old Singapore are recreated to help residents with dementia find comfort in nostalgic environments.
"We have a post box in the walkway where the residents may send letters. The caretakers respond to the letters of the residents to make them feel less alone," said Mr Philip Wong, 58, centre director for All Saints Home Jurong East and Tampines.
The walkway even has a bus stop that helps them remember the past and the things that have happened in their lives.
"Dementia patients love to wander, so we channel their unpurposeful wandering towards remembering their lives and past through the Reminiscence Walkway," said occupational therapist Michael Canada, 34.
The nursing home also provides new facilities for physiotherapy and occupational therapy rehabilitation.
In addition, it has reached out to the community, with the result that many volunteers, such as students from nearby schools and residents, spend time at the home.
"The students get to interact with the residents and it becomes a more holistic approach to providing care," said Mr Michael Tay Shen Chin, 57, chief executive officer of All Saints Home.
"Our mission is not only to provide quality care but also to bring joy and comfort while honouring the dignity of the residents. We take it a step further."