First mechanical hoists to help move severely disabled residents installed in Red Cross home

Healthcare aide Nalawayaa Suranga (right) and nursing aide Glaiza Minasalvas (left) hoisting a Red Cross Home resident Goh Quan Yao up with the ceiling hoist sling to get him from his bed onto the wheelchair.
Healthcare aide Nalawayaa Suranga (right) and nursing aide Glaiza Minasalvas (left) hoisting a Red Cross Home resident Goh Quan Yao up with the ceiling hoist sling to get him from his bed onto the wheelchair.ST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI

SINGAPORE - The Red Cross Home for the Disabled (RCHD) is the first residential home in Singapore with a mechanical hoist system to improve the quality of care for its occupants as well as reduce their dependence on their caregivers.

RCHD is Singapore's only residential home for the severely disabled, who are immobile and completely dependent on their caregivers for day-to-day tasks.

The Singapore Red Cross unveiled the hoist on Wednesday (July 11), demonstrating how it was used to move a resident from his bed to the bathing area and back again.

While in bed, resident Peter Koh, 55, was secured into a harness.. It was connected to a mechanical hoist attached to a wide beam and was able to move along the length of the room.

Mr Koh was hoisted from bed, glided across the room with the guidance of a caregiver and lowered into the bathing area.

The European-designed hoist can also move residents from their beds into their wheelchairs or to toilets and vice versa. Fewer caregivers are needed to do these tasks.

Two hoists have been installed in RCHD, one each in the men's and women's wards.

"The system significantly improves the quality of care for our residents and eases the physical demands of our caregivers. It can take up to four nursing aides to lift one resident, and they have to carry close to 100 residents - not once, but several times a day," said Mr Tee Tua Ba, chairman of Singapore Red Cross.

The cost for the two hoists was about $130,000 and they were acquired with funds raised after a charity dinner in November last year organised by The Portcullis Group and Fusang, both of which are in the finance sector.

"Both Portcullis and Fusang are long-time supporters of the Red Cross Home for the Disabled and it was our pleasure to be able to help fund the ceiling hoist system for the home." said a spokesman for the Portcullis Group.