St Joseph's Home relaunches with new facilities after $62m revamp

St Joseph's Home has a childcare centre located within it and interaction with the seniors is part of the curriculum, which aims to get children accustomed to the idea of ageing.
St Joseph's Home has a childcare centre located within it and interaction with the seniors is part of the curriculum, which aims to get children accustomed to the idea of ageing.
Madam Theresa Lam, who is one of five residents receiving water therapy at St Joseph's Home, feels that it has been beneficial and she can now turn around in bed.
Madam Theresa Lam, who is one of five residents receiving water therapy at St Joseph's Home, feels that it has been beneficial and she can now turn around in bed.ST PHOTOS: TIMOTHY DAVID

New features cater to seniors with more specialised needs and include a pool for water therapy

St Joseph's Home celebrated its 40th anniversary and official relaunch yesterday after a $62 million renovation.

While the home continues to offer nursing and hospice services, it now has new facilities that cater to elderly residents who have more specialised needs.

One of these is an indoor pool for hydrotherapy, or water therapy, which has been incorporated into rehabilitation programmes to help seniors avoid discomfort or pain from exercising on hard ground.

Madam Theresa Lam, 84, who has chronic arthritis in both her knees and is one of the five residents receiving water therapy, feels it has been beneficial. "Now I can turn around in bed," she said.

Other new facilities include a unit that helps mobile residents with dementia go about their activities instead of treating them as patients.

Ms Dolores Anuber, 42, a nurse at the home for 15 years, said the unit has raised the quality of care. The residents even join volunteers to tend to a vegetable garden.

The board chairman of Catholic Welfare Services, Mr Thomas Tan, envisions St Joseph's Home as a "home of the future".

A childcare centre launched last August and located within the home is a key feature of this vision. Interaction with the seniors is part of the curriculum, which aims to get children accustomed to the idea of ageing.

Mr Tham Ying Wai, 63, was initially opposed to the idea of admitting his 84-year-old mother, who has terminal kidney failure, into the hospice wing but changed his mind after seeing her improve. He said he hopes to see more help given to families who are in need and considering hospice care.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor in her speech yesterday provided assurance of the Government's support in enhancing eldercare services.

"The Community Silver Trust (CST) provides dollar-for-dollar matching for donations to eligible voluntary welfare organisations providing long-term care services," she said, adding that Budget 2018 set aside a $300 million top-up to the CST.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2018, with the headline 'St Joseph's Home relaunches with new facilities after $62m revamp'. Print Edition | Subscribe