Caption: Volunteer Raymond Chin (right) entertaining the seniors with Chinese oldies.
Mr Tan Bak Seng, 90, suddenly opened his eyes. They have been mostly shut - except for a few occasional moments when he opens them for a few seconds and shuts them again. His elder daughter, Ms Tan Siew Chng, who quit her job two years ago to care for him, was speechless. A volunteer from VM Ware, TOUCH Home Care’s (THC) corporate partner, had bought ice-cream for Mr Tan as he spent half a day together with 14 other frail seniors at Kallang Wave Mall. The cold sensation and sweetness of his chocolate ice-cream had awakened Mr Tan’s senses.
Caption: Mr Tan Bak Seng (left) with THC staff Ms Chin Shu Han (right) and caregiver Ms Tan Siew Chng (second row extreme right) at Kallang Wave Mall.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw my dad’s eyes opened so widely. My dad has dementia and he can hardly walk. He is confined to his wheelchair and is mostly unresponsive. I was so happy to see that little reaction from him – even if it lasted for a few seconds. I am grateful to TOUCH Home Care for giving my dad the chance to step out of his home for this fun outing,” said Siew Chng..
Due to the frailty of THC’s clients, getting out of the home is a challenge. The outing to Kallang Wave Mall was more than just appreciating the diverse range of shops the mall had to offer; it was the warm experience of being in the company of people who cared that mattered.
The 35 volunteers were paired with the elderly based on their common interests and ability to communicate. Volunteer Mr Raymond Chin, broke into a song and serenaded the audience with oldies as they were resting by the Kallang River. He was paired with Mr Andrew Cheong, 78, who enjoyed listening to oldies. Soon, the rest of the elderly were nodding to the rhythm of the melodious tunes, tapping their feet and singing with him.
“It was an amazing sight to see the elderly responding so spontaneously that day,” said THC’s Occupational Therapist, Ms Chin Shu Han, who was there together with seven staff from THC. “It was a touching moment for all of us as we have seen how they are like at home – struggling just to feed or bathe themselves. So to see them singing and laughing is simply wonderful.”
THC client Mr Sam Stephen was also treated to his favourite almond jelly pudding, which doubled up as birthday cake. He had suffered a stroke this year and is a wheelchair user.
Caption: An array of colourful personalised cards for THC clients made by VM Ware volunteers.
The elderly took home with them specially made 3-D cards by VM’s volunteers who also wrote their wishes and encouraging notes to honour and appreciate the seniors for their contributions to the nation. The caregivers also received a thermos flask and a tracker.
Special thanks to our corporate partner VM Ware for sponsoring and organising this memorable outing. For more enquiries on corporate social responsibility projects and sponsorship opportunities, please contact 6804 6565 or email [email protected].