By 2030, it is expected that about one in four of the population will be aged 65 years and older. This translates into more seniors living in our communities and within our families. There will also be a higher demand for eldercare facilities and services.
However, we cannot solely rely on the efforts of the government, community nurses and allied care professionals. The rest of the Singapore population must come together collectively to support this silver tsunami.
As we gathered this National Day to celebrate the nation’s birthday as One People, we were reminded of the importance of communities, families and friends who form the bedrock of Singapore’s social compact. Everyone has a part to play. As we strive for a stronger future together, let us hear from Ms Khoo Jin Rui, Senior Community Nurse from TOUCH Home Care, who shares tips on how we can better understand seniors and build stronger families and more caring communities.
Show more empathy
Our seniors have weathered many life experiences. So, they may have formed certain habits and perspectives which might be difficult to change overnight. Thus, we need to be more patient and empathise with them.
Use positive reinforcement
Look at areas where they have done well and praise them for it. Do not focus on their weaknesses. For instance, when getting them to comply with taking their medicine, praise them when they remember to take it. Do not chide them for forgetting to take it.
Spend time with them
Seniors need to know that you care for them. The best way to do so is to spend time with them. Check in on them regularly. Listen to their stories. Teach them new skills. By doing so, we can help to build stronger connections and mitigate any risks of social isolation that will be faced by the seniors.
Caring for seniors is a marathon. We need to be able to pace ourselves and take care of our physical and mental health to continue this caregiving journey. Be kind to yourself as you learn from the process and treasure precious time spent with your loved one. It will be especially rewarding to see your aged loved one become more independent and age well in the community.
Want to know more about resources for the elderly to age well at home or advice on caregiving issues? Call the Care Line at 6804 6555 to speak with our care coordinators!
TOUCH Home Care (THC) aims to enable the frail elderly to age well at home and lead dignified lives. With close to 30 years of experience in geriatric care, THC works closely with an integrated network of elderly care services, such as TOUCH Active Ageing, TOUCH Caregivers Support and TOUCH Day Rehabilitation Centre to provide integrated and holistic home-based services to support the homebound elderly and their caregivers.