By Thong Teck Home
COVID-19 posed many challenges to all Nursing Homes. Thong Teck Home needed to act swiftly to manage caregivers' concerns and anxieties. When the Circuit Breaker began, Thong Teck Home immediately strategised how to ensure our residents were kept engaged, both mentally and physically.
Connecting with Families
When the Circuit Breaker was first announced, we recognised the immediate need for families to be able to connect with their loved ones residing in the Home. Within a week of the start of the period, all families were scheduled for video conferences with their loved ones. They were also kept informed of the situation via SMS or letters, and how they could continue communicating with their loved ones. This helped to allay many of their fears and anxieties. We followed that up with telephone counselling for those still worried about the conditions of their loved ones.
As soon as phase 2 started and visitation was allowed, we then scheduled visits as per MOH's guidelines. Video conferencing still continues today to supplement visits.
Keeping Residents Active
While there were many restrictions imposed, the biggest one is the safe zoning for residents and family members, making it a greater challenge to plan activities to keep residents occupied. To help with organising, we partnered with Prudential Assurance Company Singapore, who donated two television sets and tablets; Heartbeats SG; and Youth Corps Singapore. Three times a week, residents will take turns to tune in to Zoom sessions, and participate in simple exercises like wheelchair yoga and tai chi, meditation and breathing exercises, and activities like bingo, crafts, and karaoke. Volunteers also conduct befriending sessions through Zoom.
Meanwhile, in-house activities continue, though with some technological additions. Residents participate in daily morning exercise and bedside exercise, tabletop activities where in-house physiotherapists and nursing staff do colouring and reading of magazines and newspapers. Old movies are also screened for residents, and they take part in music therapy through Zoom.
Thong Teck Home is very grateful to have worked with organisations and individuals to help keep our residents occupied and engaged.
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Issue 5: October 2020