Saturday 14 February 2015

New home offers dignity and comfort to the elderly

$15m facility offers cosier, interactive setting for patients with dementia
By Kok Xing Hui, The Straits Times, 13 Feb 2015

A NEW nursing home for elderly dementia patients, set to open in the second half of next year, is designed to offer them "autonomy, dignity and a sense of well-being".

Jade Circle, a $15 million extension to the Salvation Army's Peacehaven home at Changi, will offer a cosier set-up than the typical ward setting.

This means patients will be housed in single or twin rooms with en suite toilets.

Work on the project, which was announced yesterday, is scheduled to start in the third quarter of this year.

The home will cater to 60 residents, grouped into clusters of 12. Each cluster will have its own dining area and kitchen.

Smart technology will be used to enhance patient care. Examples include sensors installed under the bed to check the patient's vital signs, and a care watch that can call nurses and track movements, intended for residents with a tendency to wander.

The home will also feature a rooftop garden with dining area, a hair salon and a grocery store.

Patients will have an open schedule and the flexibility to plan their day and access social and shared spaces whenever they wish.

Peacehaven director Low Mui Lang believes this will allow patients to prompt one another to take up activities.

"We want to rethink and review how we can care for our elderly," she said.

"Instead of giving top-down care from the perspective of care professionals, why not reform our care model from the perspective of the elderly, who are often powerless at the receiving end?"

The home will cater for residents who are mobile, with moderate to severe dementia, and will take in both full-paying and subsidised patients. Fees before means testing and subsidies will range from $2,800 to $3,500 a month.

A spot in the current Peacehaven Nursing Home, which houses about six residents per room, can cost between $2,400 and $2,800 before means testing and subsidies.

The Jade Circle extension will house a training centre for medical professionals working in dementia care, as well as a day-care centre for 30 clients.

The training centre will offer courses, practical attachments, workshops and seminars, in addition to diplomas and degrees through tie-ups with institutions abroad such as Australia's University of Tasmania.

The Lien Foundation and Khoo Chwee Neo Foundation are contributing $5 million each to the project. The remainder is likely to come from Government funding.

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