NOTICE PAPER NO. 899
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 10 JANUARY 2022
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Desmond Choo
MP for Tampines GRC
Question No. 1458
To ask the Minister for Health in light of the safe management measures and the higher stress from dealing with COVID-19, what is the Ministry’s progress and plans in supporting the mental health of staff and residents in nursing homes and other related facilities.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) work closely with residential care homes (“Homes”), such as nursing homes, to support the socio-emotional well-being of their staff and residents during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Providers regularly check in on their staff’s well-being and provide support to help them cope with stress as well as provide gestures of appreciation for their contributions. Peer support programmes and staff counselling services were also stepped up.
Providers also stepped up their use of technology to support their residents’ socio-emotional needs, especially when face-to-face visits were suspended. For instance, providers helped residents to connect with their loved ones via video-conferencing on a regular basis. Residents also enjoy virtual activities such as online programmes organised by partners including National Heritage Board and Mandai Wildlife Reserves.
As part of the transition towards COVID-19 resilience, we have resumed face-to-face visits for fully vaccinated or medically ineligible residents and visitors, and we are piloting recreational activities outside of the Homes in a safe manner. For example, in December 2021, approximately 110 seniors participated in trishaw rides around their neighbourhood, as part of a pilot with Cycling Without Age, Singapore. Small group activities for residents, including volunteer-led ones, have also resumed, subject to prevailing safe management measures.
We will continue to work closely with providers to monitor and introduce timely measures to enhance resident and staff well-being.