Caring for others has always been second nature to Sandy Loh. So, it came as no surprise when she readily gave up her decade-long career in the petrochemical industry to become a full-time caregiver for her ageing parents in 2013. Unknowingly, that marked the beginning of her interest in the eldercare sector.
“I would accompany my mum for regular rehabilitation sessions at St. Luke’s Community Hospital and saw first-hand how the therapists and therapy assistants cared for her. I was very touched by their unconditional love and support, and it sparked my desire to give back to society in the same way.”
Today, the Senior Therapy Assistant at the NTUC Health Nursing Home in Jurong West, serves as a crucial member of the team, where she conducts group exercises and one-to-one therapy sessions with the residents.
Sandy confesses that she did initially worry about entering an entirely new field with no healthcare experience but thanks to the guidance of her colleagues, she gradually gained confidence. Looking back, she deeply appreciates how her five years in community care have equipped her with valuable knowledge and interpersonal skills to better care for her loved ones and those in the community.
She recounts meeting a resident who was admitted after suffering a stroke and relied on a nasogastric tube (NGT) and indwelling urinary catheter (IDC) for his daily needs. After months of rehabilitation, he was weaned off NGT and IDC and progressed to a soft diet. Eventually, he was able to eat normal food without feeding assistance.
Such happy encounters motivate community therapy assistants like Sandy to continue playing a vital role in the lives of seniors and their loved ones.
“There’s never a day that I go to work unhappy – seeing my residents make improvements after rehabilitation keeps me going.”
Learn more about community care and how you can make a difference in the lives of others.
This article was originally published in Jurong-Clementi Town Council’s newsletter – Our Neighbourhood.