Living through a pandemic has proven to be a challenge for most Singaporeans, especially for many of our seniors living in Central Singapore. However, this shared experience was the muchneeded spark to reignite the kampung spirit in many communities.
Equipping Volunteers with Knowledge and Skills
The onslaught of COVID-19 did not deter our carers from actively learning new skills and providing continuous care and support to their family members and peers. The carers, who are volunteers from Thye Hua Kwan (THK) Cluster Support @ Geylang, rose to the challenge and participated in the virtual CHArge Up! Learning Programme initiated by the Centre of Health Activation (CHA) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). Launched in 2018, this programme aims to equip carers with health skills, knowledge and confidence to care for themselves and for others around them.
Being avid volunteers at THK, 65-year-old Mdm Ong Poh Lian and 52-year-old Mdm Rosina Tan completed their virtual training on ‘Creating a Safe Home Environment to Reduce Risks of Falls and Proper Handling of a Wheelchair’. After completing the training, both volunteers eagerly shared their newly learnt health knowledge and skills to help those around them.
Mdm Ong shared: "(This module) allows me to share the information that I have, and learn with my neighbours and those who require assistance in managing wheelchairs.
Adding on, Mdm Rosina said: "It also highlights areas of concerns for home hazards that I can share with my elderly befriendees."
Nurturing Supportive Networks of Care
For others, they found strength in forming local peer groups within their communities, which provided them with social support during these trying times. Mdm Florence Sie, 72, is one such example. Advocating for a healthy lifestyle through exercise among her peers, she was recognised for her efforts and was invited to join TTSH’s Centre for Health Activation Peer Support Leaders (CHAPS) Club and has been an active member for 2 years. Launched in 2019, CHAPS Club aims to develop and equip Peer Support Leaders (PSLs) with skills, knowledge and confidence to lead and empower peers to achieve a healthy lifestyle, in partnership with TTSH Health Coaches and Community Partners.
Peer Support Leaders, like Madam Sie, form strong pillars of social support and motivation for their peers and seniors in their communities. As Mdm Sie shared: “Virtual engagements are the next best choice due to the current pandemic situation. (It is a) good way to keep up with information about healthy diets and keep fit virtually alongside my peers."
Through these community-enabling programmes and initiatives, they foster the kampung spirit amongst our seniors and spark their desires to care for and encourage one another to live happier and healthier lifestyles.
Help Bring Care to Every Corner
Anyone can participate in CHArge Up! Learning Programme or be a CHAPS Club member. Interested to be part of our community enabling programmes or initiatives?
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