New nursing home can care for up to 290 seniors

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam is flanked by Right Reverend Rennis Ponniah, president of the Singapore Anglican Community Services and St Andrew's Mission Hospital, and Ms Namrata Sadarangani, assistant director of community therapy services
Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam is flanked by Right Reverend Rennis Ponniah, president of the Singapore Anglican Community Services and St Andrew's Mission Hospital, and Ms Namrata Sadarangani, assistant director of community therapy services at St Andrew's Community Hospital.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

St Andrew's Nursing Home in Taman Jurong offers dementia and psychiatric care

When 91-year-old Ang Swee Huay was diagnosed with dementia last year, her biggest worry was her two children who have mental health conditions.

Madam Ang is the sole caregiver for her 57-year-old daughter and 56-year-old son, who are unable to care for themselves independently.

Her daughter is recovering from depression and polio, while her son is recovering from schizophrenia.

Today, Madam Ang no longer has to worry about her children's long-term care. Since July, the three of them have been living in the new St Andrew's Nursing Home (SANH) in Taman Jurong.

The residential care nursing home, which started operations in February, was officially opened yesterday.

It currently has 213 residents and can serve up to 290 seniors. The home provides long-term residential care and rehabilitation for people with a wide spectrum of needs. It offers dementia and psychiatric care, as well as general nursing care.

Madam Ang said: "I am relieved and assured that my children and I will be able to receive the nursing home care we require. Most importantly, we get to stay together as a family in the same home."

The nursing home is the latest addition to the suite of senior care services under Singapore Anglican Community Services (SACS) and St Andrew's Mission Hospital (SAMH).

SAMH operates three other St Andrew's Nursing Homes in Buangkok, Henderson and Queenstown. The home in Buangkok provides psychiatric care and dementia care, while the homes in Henderson and Queenstown offer general nursing care and dementia care.

 

Dr Arthur Chern, group chief executive of SAMH and SACS, said that with the new facility and an upcoming one fronted by St John's-St Margaret's Church - scheduled to open next year - there will be a total of over 1,400 beds for residents.

"SAMH and SACS, bearing respective expertise and track record in senior care and psychiatric rehabilitation, will continue to push frontiers in healthcare," he added.

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who officiated at the event, said he was impressed that SANH in Taman Jurong caters for the elderly with dementia.

"That is clearly going to be an issue for us in Singapore in the future. We do need to have more focused care and services for those with dementia."

Mr Tharman, who is also Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, commended the Anglican church and its volunteers for their efforts in caring for the elderly.

"That's the type of society that we are trying to build and we build it not just through policies and incentives and schemes, we build it ourselves, through society itself. We have to develop a society where all of us become better," he added.

Mr Philip Wong, executive director of SANH in Taman Jurong, said that by 2030, one in four Singaporeans will be 65 years and above.

"In addition to meeting the long-term care needs of the population, SANH in Taman Jurong will play an important role in serving those facing a mix of social, health and community care needs," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2019, with the headline 'New nursing home can care for up to 290 seniors'. Print Edition | Subscribe