Launch of New Inpatient Hospice Care Programmes

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Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor (centre) and Mr Richard Magnus, Chairman of Temasek Foundation Cares (left) interacting with Assisi Hospice’s patients during a music therapy session at the dedicated dementia hospice ward

Advanced dementia patients and children with life-limiting medical conditions have specific needs that may not be met in a general palliative ward. In view of this, on April 12, 2017 Assisi Hospice and Temasek Foundation Cares opened the first ever inpatient dementia and paediatric hospice programmes in Singapore. Based in Assisi Hospice, the two pilot programmes will offer person-centred care, tailored to the needs and preferences of the patients and their family.

Under the Temasek Foundation Cares – Dementia Hospice Care Programme, a team of experts including palliative and geriatric dementia care specialists, a nursing team, physiotherapists as well as art, music and speech therapists will attend to the medical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of patients. The Temasek Foundation Cares – Paediatric Hospice Care Programme will provide inpatient palliative care to children with life-threatening conditions such as cancer, blood disorders, congenital malformations or organ failures requiring regular access to specialised care. Paediatric care experts will also be attached to the ward. The ward will have a higher nurse-to-patient ratio than a general palliative ward, and each single room is designed with more space to accommodate overnight stays by caregivers. The ward space also includes a playroom and a playground to encourage bonding between siblings. Under the new care model, families of these children will also receive structured caregiver and bereavement support.

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What one beneficiary had to say about the programme

Mr Kwan Thim Kit was able to have a balanced life after caring for his mother, Madam Chan Lim Seng, aged 92 years old, for seven years. He said: “The music therapy kept my mother active and mentally engaged; and in another therapy session where she made cookies, she was reminded of her cooking skills. With the professional inpatient services to take care of my mother’s medical and psychosocial needs, I am able to enjoy some personal time and spend more quality time with my mother.”

About Temasek Foundation Cares

Temasek Foundation Cares is a Singapore-based non-profit philanthropic organisation that funds and supports meaningful and innovative community-based programmes for the benefit of Singaporeans. It aims to contribute to the well-being, dignity and livelihood of needy individuals, families and communities by building people, building communities, building capabilities and rebuilding lives. Temasek Foundation Cares is a member of the Temasek Philanthropic Platform.

Did you know…

Dementia is not one disease, but a name for many different brain diseases. Before the late 1800s, dementia was an umbrella term for many types of unrelated mental illnesses, and there was very little medical understanding from ancient times. Today, medical research endeavour to unravel the intricate web of dementia so we can have a better understanding of these diseases, in the hope of prevention and one day – a cure. Though there are many types of dementia, the most common ones are Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. (Source The Alzheimer’s Disease Association in Singapore)