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#CouragetoCareSG: Serving seniors from the heart

11/11/2020


In 2018, at the age of 60, Wendy Wong took a bold leap of faith to pursue a career in the community care sector. She kick-started her journey with a three-month advanced eldercare course. Upon completion of the course, Wendy was even more convinced that a career in the community care sector was right for her. She decided to join Vanguard Healthcare as a Residential Care Associate at Bukit Batok Care Home. Two years on, she is part of the team fighting COVID-19 on the front line…

“Earlier this year, I was posted to the Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home (LAM) to support the provision of geriatric care during the pandemic. The posting came at a crucial point as the situation took a serious turn at several residential care homes. It was truly one of the defining moments of my career as a Residential Care Associate.

I had to perform my duties in an unfamiliar environment – new colleagues, new residents to care for, additional protocols to follow and the possibility of coming into contact with positive cases.

As anxious as I was, a sense of responsibility kicked in when I saw the residents at LAM.

For the residents, many of whom are in their twilight years, the nursing home is their safe haven. Although my posting was only temporary, I was committed to providing the same standard of care, comfort and companionship I extended to my residents back at Bukit Batok Care Home. 

As a newcomer to LAM, the residents were not familiar with me and it took time to build rapport with them. Being able to converse in dialect definitely helped me to communicate with them better.

During my first night shift at LAM, I struggled to change a resident’s diaper. She was restless and threw a fit, making it difficult for me to carry out the task. I tried my best to gently calm her down by talking to her. Eventually, she relaxed. 

A number of residents did not fully understand the gravity of the situation. Some could not comprehend the rationale behind the additional safety measures and why their loved ones could not visit. After we started setting up tele-visits to connect them with their loved ones through video calls… they felt better!

This period has not been easy for the frontline workers, but there are silver linings. The LAM team received strong support from the community care sector. Knowing that we were working 12-hour long shifts in full PPE attire, Vanguard Healthcare delivered portable air coolers to us. Gestures like these made us feel appreciated.

At the end of the day, taking care of seniors is my passion. Knowing that the work I do benefits the seniors under my care keeps me going and fuels my passion to serve in this sector.”