SINGAPORE - Lush sofa seats in cosy corners, dining halls and a playground. These are some of the souped-up features at the new premises of palliative care provider Assisi Hospice.
The seats are for caregivers who may want to grieve or rest, while the dining halls will give patients a space to dine with their family members, away from their beds. The playground is for children in the paediatric palliative ward.
The new premises, just beside the previous site alongside Mount Alvernia Hospital on Thomson Road, will also be able to serve more than 2,000 patients a year, double the 1,000 patients it has been serving.
There are now 85 beds, up from 37 previously. In the day care centre, there are new gym equipment for patients, so they can remain mobile, retaining the dignity to eat themselves and dress themselves. Assisi Hospice also provides home-care services.
Among the new facilities is a dedicated ward for dementia patients, which features auto-lock doors to help prevent patients from wandering away or getting lost, and also navy blue fittings in the toilets, that they are better able to recognise.
On Tuesday (Jan 10), most patients were moved from the old building to the new one.
Ms Anita Fam, chairman of Assisi's board of directors, said that one of the changes at the new building are the bigger room doors that allow patients to be wheeled in on their beds. Previously, patients had to be carried.
Ms Fam added that the move to the new premises, was first broached some nine years ago. She described the new building as "more home-like".
"What is here is what I feel is the reality of a dream...by many people many years ago, and what we feel should be the hallmark," she said, adding that beyond just having a new building, the hospice is maintaining a high quality of care for patients towards the end of their lives.