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Efforts to Promote Mental Wellness Among Elderly in Isolation Wards With Difficulty Utilising Technology

4th Jan 2021

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Christopher de Souza
MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC

Question No. 264

To ask the Minister for Health what is being done to promote mental wellness among the elderly in isolation wards who have difficulty utilising technology especially when they get admitted to hospitals repeatedly due to aging issues.

Written Answer

Patients are only admitted to isolation rooms if there is a need to reduce the risk of infection spread to others. This includes patients with pneumonia, are suspect COVID-19 cases or are carriers of Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms (MDROs). The medical team will review the need for isolation and will de-isolate the patient once it is no longer necessary to do so.

Hospital staff regularly monitor patients in isolation rooms and will identify those who are at higher risk or exhibiting signs of emotional or mental distress, especially the elderly patients, to enable timely assessment and intervention. 

Most elderly patients are able to stay in touch with their family through phones or other forms of technology.  For those who are unable to do so, hospital staff will assist them to make regular contacts with their family through phone calls or videoconferencing. 

To minimise the mental health impact of isolation wards, hospitals ensure that they are also sufficiently engaged with access to various forms of media (e.g. television, radio and newspapers). Where clinical conditions allow, the ward staff will also engage the elderly patients in conversations or simple activities. 

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