New centre in Yishun provides free hand massages, aromatherapy to seniors and caregivers

Student care officer Sally Low (left), 47, an only child who helps care for her mother in a nursing home, receiving a hand massage from volunteer Ms Trinia Tjioe, 48, a freelance therapist, at the Goodlife!@Yishun Centre.
Student care officer Sally Low (left), 47, an only child who helps care for her mother in a nursing home, receiving a hand massage from volunteer Ms Trinia Tjioe, 48, a freelance therapist, at the Goodlife!@Yishun Centre.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG
Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam tours GoodLife!@Yishun centre while residents receive hand massages and aromatherapy sessions.
Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam tours GoodLife!@Yishun centre while residents receive hand massages and aromatherapy sessions.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

SINGAPORE - Seniors and caregivers in Yishun can have some respite, with free hand massages and aromatherapy services at a centre which opened at Block 838 Yishun Street 81 on Sunday (Nov 25).

The GoodLife!@Yishun centre is a one-stop wellness hub and resource centre with its own cafe offering residents free coffee and tea.

Run by voluntary welfare organisation Montfort Care and supported by the Nee Soon South community, the 345 sq m centre is located opposite Khatib MRT station.

During the massage, volunteers can engage the caregivers or seniors to help them relieve stress and uncover issues they may be facing.

The centre also runs senior-related activities and programmes to promote physical, mental, social and spiritual wellness.

For example, it has a community chef programme, where Montfort Care staff encourage seniors in the community to exchange recipes and share cooking tips among themselves.

The centre also offers case management, counselling, caregivers' support groups, dementia and mental health screenings, as well as active ageing and befriending programmes.

In addition, it facilitates advanced care plan discussions, where a senior's personal values and beliefs are considered when drawing up his future personal and health care needs.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who is an adviser to Nee Soon GRC grassroots organisations, attended the centre's opening on Sunday with MP Lee Bee Wah.

Student care officer Sally Low, 47, who lives a 10-min bus ride away from the centre, intends to be at the centre at least once a month.

Ms Low, an only child who helps care for her mother in a nursing home, says: "I have cancer, and the chemotherapy causes numbness in my hands.

"I am happy to come here because the massages help to get rid of the numbness. The aromatherapy also helps me relax."

Volunteer Kalsom Abdullah, 61, who helps out with the centre's community chef programme and elderly befriending services, says: "I feel volunteering here is meaningful because I get to help the less fortunate.

"By volunteering here, I hope to encourage the kampung spirit in Yishun in my own small way, especially for the elderly and caregivers."

The community and private donors earlier this year raised the $300,000 needed to renovate the space.

The centre's opening was held in conjunction with the Nee Soon South Health Carnival.