New St Andrew's Nursing Home opens in Taman Jurong

Residents take part in a virtual reality game for physical and cognitive rehabilitation at the new St Andrew's Nursing Home. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The physiotherapy and occupational therapy room at the new St Andrew's Nursing Home. PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - When 91-year-old Ang Swee Huay was diagnosed with dementia last year, her biggest worry was her two adult 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 independently care for themselves. Her daughter is recovering from depression and polio, while her son is recovering from schizophrenia.

Today, she no longer has to worry about her family's long-term care.

Since July, Madam Ang and her two children have been living at the new St Andrew's Nursing Home (SANH) in Taman Jurong.

The residential care nursing home, which started operations in February, was officially opened on Friday (Aug 30).

The nursing home, which currently has 213 residents, can serve up to 290 seniors. It provides long-term residential care and rehabilitation for persons 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, which currently has 213 residents, can serve up to 290 seniors. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

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 provide general nursing care and dementia care.

Dr Arthur Chern, group chief executive officer of SAMH and SACS, said with the new facility and an upcoming one fronted by St John's-St Margaret's Church scheduled to open in 2020, there will be a total capacity of over 1,400 beds.

"With the inauguration of SANH at Taman Jurong, 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 the event, said that he was impressed that SANH at 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."

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam touring the St Andrew's Nursing Home with Singapore Anglican Community Services and St Andrew's Mission Hospital president, Right Reverend Rennis Ponniah (left), and St Andrew's Community Hospital assistant director of community therapy services Namrata Sadarangani (right). ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Mr Tharman also 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."

Executive director of SANH at Taman Jurong Philip Wong 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 at Taman Jurong will play an important role in serving those facing a mix of social, health and community care needs," he said.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.