New geriatric medicine centre opens at Tan Tock Seng Hospital

A mock up home with safety tips for elderly living in the community is seen within Tan Tock Seng Hospital's new Centre for Geriatric Medicine. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
A mock up home with safety tips for elderly living in the community is seen within Tan Tock Seng Hospital's new Centre for Geriatric Medicine. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong (fourth from left) at the official opening of Tan Tock Seng Hospital's new Centre for Geriatric Medicine on Jul 25, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong (fourth from left) at the official opening of Tan Tock Seng Hospital's new Centre for Geriatric Medicine on Jul 25, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The pharmacy located within Tan Tock Seng Hospital's new Centre for Geriatric Medicine has pharmacists onsite to provide immediate medication counseling and dispensing. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The pharmacy located within Tan Tock Seng Hospital's new Centre for Geriatric Medicine has pharmacists onsite to provide immediate medication counseling and dispensing. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
89-year-old Madam Chan Foong Chai reads the newspapers at the indoor sensory garden located within Tan Tock Seng Hospital's new Centre for Geriatric Medicine. The garden is fitted with furnishings and objects to stimulate the five senses. -- ST
89-year-old Madam Chan Foong Chai reads the newspapers at the indoor sensory garden located within Tan Tock Seng Hospital's new Centre for Geriatric Medicine. The garden is fitted with furnishings and objects to stimulate the five senses. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - Tan Tock Seng Hospital's (TTSH) new outpatient geriatric medicine centre, with key services located in a central facility, was officially opened on Friday morning.

The centre, which started operations in March, is specially designed to be as elder-friendly as possible. Lighting and seating areas, for instance, cater to those who may have poor vision or mobility.

It also features a sensory garden with plants and chirping birds, which aims to engage the senses of cognitively-impaired patients.

Nearly a quarter of the centre's patients suffer from dementia, said Associate Professor Chin Jing Jih, divisional chairman of integrative and community care at TTSH. About half, he added, rely on wheelchairs to get around.

The centre was opened by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who stressed the importance of improving care quality.

"Going forward, transforming the delivery of healthcare and aged care will be just as important, if not more important, than increasing capacity and enhancing affordability of care," he said.