Yishun wellness hub for seniors, caregivers opens

Ms Sally Low, whose chemotherapy treatment causes numbness in her hands, getting a massage from volunteer and freelance therapist Trinia Tjioe at the Yishun centre yesterday. Montfort Care programmes associate Chan Chiew Lan and volunteer Kalsom Abdu
Ms Sally Low, whose chemotherapy treatment causes numbness in her hands, getting a massage from volunteer and freelance therapist Trinia Tjioe at the Yishun centre yesterday.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG
Ms Sally Low, whose chemotherapy treatment causes numbness in her hands, getting a massage from volunteer and freelance therapist Trinia Tjioe at the Yishun centre yesterday. Montfort Care programmes associate Chan Chiew Lan and volunteer Kalsom Abdu
Montfort Care programmes associate Chan Chiew Lan and volunteer Kalsom Abdullah making kueh kosui yesterday. The centre has a community chef programme where seniors are encouraged to share recipes and cooking tips.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

It offers free hand massages and aromatherapy services, mental health screening and counselling

Seniors and caregivers in Yishun can enjoy free hand massages and aromatherapy services at a centre which opened at Block 838 Yishun Street 81 yesterday.

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 sessions, volunteers can engage caregivers or seniors to uncover issues they may be facing or help them relieve stress.

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 to share recipes and cooking tips.

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 advance care plan discussions where a senior's personal values and beliefs are considered when drawing up his future personal and healthcare needs.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugamattended the centre's opening yesterday, along with fellow Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah.

Student care officer Sally Low, 47, who lives a 10-minute 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, said: "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 elder-befriending services, said: "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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2018, with the headline 'Yishun wellness hub for seniors, caregivers opens'. Print Edition | Subscribe