New wards for dementia patients and critically ill children launched at Assisi Hospice

Assisi Hospice nurse Joanna Rose Evardone with dementia patient Liow Ah Tay.
Assisi Hospice nurse Joanna Rose Evardone with dementia patient Liow Ah Tay.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - New wards dedicated to end-of-life care for dementia patients and critically ill children were launched at Assisi Hospice on Wednesday (April 12).

They are the first inpatient hospice programmes for such patients, and will feature new models of care to meet the needs of these groups.

The dementia hospice programmes will be piloted for two years, while the paediatric programme will be piloted for three years.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor attended the event and toured the two new wards, which were launched with support from Temasek Foundation Cares.

Patients in the dementia ward will receive care from staff trained to be attuned to verbal and non-verbal cues, in order to better understand patients' needs. Out of 16 beds, 10 are currently taken.

In the paediatric ward, there are five single beds, and one patient. The ward is designed to accommodate families and includes a playroom and playground for siblings to bond. There is also space within each single room for parents to stay over with their children.

Patients in both wards pay $295 a day before subsidies. Up to 75 per cent of the cost can be subsidised by the Government, with further subsidies available from Assisi Hospice.

Chairman of Temasek Foundation Cares Richard Magnus said: "We are taking the lead to pilot new models of end-of-life support care for both the young and old in situations where medical intervention has reached its limitation and the end is inevitable."

The foundation also intends to develop caregiver programmes in future.