Caption: THC client Louisa (left) chatting with THC’s therapy assistant Audrey Tan (right)
Louisa spent several decades working alongside dentists, helping to fix children’s teeth. With 50 years of dental nursing under her belt, she has been a source of comfort to many patients, both young and old.
Now Louisa, 85, lives alone in a two-room rental flat in Bendemeer, and needs help at home. She suffers from chronic medical illnesses, including hypertension, diabetes, asthma and coronary heart disease. She also has cervical spondylosis, which causes a weakening of the cervical spine.
A difficult chapter
Louisa retired at 70 years old, shortly after her husband passed on, to spend more time with her two children. As the years went by, Louisa grew weaker. She was then living with her daughter overseas for a short period when she fell sick. She quickly returned to Singapore and was hospitalised for two months. Louisa was diagnosed with Pneumonia. It was the lowest point in her life. Hooked to an oxygen tank, Louisa struggled to breathe, feeling alone and helpless.
“I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t talk. I was half my size. I was so thin the wind could just blow me away!” said Louisa.
Back on her feet
Louisa was determined to get well as she wanted to remain at home. “I want to feel comfortable and happy about where I am going to live. I will be miserable elsewhere,” added Louisa.
In 2015, the community hospital medical social worker referred Louisa’s case to TOUCH Home Care (THC) as she had no caregiver at home. Louisa had difficulties performing activities of daily living as she was unable to bend, stand or walk. She was put on THC’s therapy programme to improve her mobility. She also received help for her medical appointments, meals delivery and to keep her home clean.
Louisa believed one day she would be able to leave her wheelchair and use a walker. Slowly, she managed to get out of bed and walk to the toilet on her own after intensive rehabilitation. THC’s therapists also accompanied Louisa downstairs to give her the confidence of venturing out on her own to meet friends or take a walk.
Caption: Louisa having a meal in the comfort of her home
Caption: With THC’s suite of services, Louisa is able to live independently at home.
“We are amazed by Louisa’s resilience. From day one she has been clear about her goal of wanting to be independent. We focused on a variety of exercises to build up muscle strength and endurance, as well as speed and balance when walking. She was finally able to move freely around and beyond her home,” said Ms Vivian Lim, THC’s physiotherapist.
“I am so happy I can move around using my walking stick. My efforts have paid off! When I was a dental nurse, I could comfort my patients and ease their worries. Now I feel so blessed to have people supporting me in this chapter of my life,” said Louisa smiling.