Four Community Partners Come Together to celebrate the Season of Giving with Residents
For Mdm Tang Ah Kah, year-ends were traditionally quiet and often lonely affairs. The 85-year-old lives alone in a rental flat in Champions Way, and has 1 daughter who is only able to visit her when time permits or to bring her for medical check-ups.
This year, Mdm Tang is celebrating the season with neighbours and newfound friends from the community at the Bringing Cheer to Our Community block party at Block 569A and 569B, Champions Way. Organised by Woodlands Health Campus (WHC), with support from the Anglican Senior Centre, Care Corner Senior Activity Centre, and Fei Yue Family Service Centre, the event brings together health and social care partners in the immediate vicinity to connect with residents. Mr Vikram Nair, Member of Parliament for the Sembawang GRC was Guest-of-Honour today.
"The festive period is a joyous occasion but can sometimes feel isolating for those living alone and with little social support," said Associate Professor Nicholas Chew, Chairman Medical Board of WHC, and Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. "Creating opportunities such as this for residents, staff and our community partners to interact goes a long way towards building a strong ecosystem of support within the neighbourhood."
An estimated 13.9% of residents living in Champions Way are aged 65 and above. In July 2018, WHC partnered with approximately 200 junior doctors from the National Healthcare Group Residency Programme and Fei Yue Family Service Centre to conduct door-to-door surveys with over 400 residents and found more than 46% of them to have 1 or more chronic diseases, with some having limited social support. It is this cocktail of health and social issues which often leads to a worsening of medical problems, explained A/Prof Chew.
Since July 2018, WHC has been working with various community partners to understand the needs of the neighbourhood. These include door-to-door surveys and the setting up a Share a Pot® site at the Care Corner Family Service Centre. Plans for more services and programmes are already under way.
"Health and social integration are vital towards ensuring our people can stay well in the community. This network of support will help residents manage their conditions closer to home and family," said Mr Nair.
Over 150 residents from 8 neighbouring blocks attended the 4-hour long event this morning. They were joined by 70 staff volunteers from WHC and our community partners. Many were elderly residents who had the chance to relive their childhood days with various kampung-inspired games. Guests also played a round of Sugarpoly – a Monopoly-inspired board game developed by WHC's Community Transformation Office team. This game lets players understand Diabetes, the complications and how to reduce risks.
For all the volunteers from WHC, many agreed that celebrating the festive season with residents is much more meaningful than the usual office parties