Mahjong, bingo and handicraft are some of the games and activities that Yam Poh regularly organises for dementia patients at Ang Mo Kio – Thye Hua Kwan Hospital.

Since joining the Hospital in 2013, Yam Poh never fails to come up with new ways to keep her patients engaged. In 2016, she led a team of six regular volunteers to roll out RELEARN, an integrated rehabilitation programme which aims to maximise patients’ rehabilitation potential through different exercises and activities using music, arts and crafts.

“The patients were initially very reluctant and we had to coax them to take part in every activity. It wasn’t easy and took us a few weeks to gain their trust, but we’re now so happy that patients look forward to the activities,” she says.

Yam Poh candidly shares that caring for dementia patients can be challenging due to their unpredictable moods but that will never stop her from wanting to do more for them. She has just started attending flower arrangement classes in her free time as she hopes to introduce that as a new activity for her patients.

In 2018, she obtained a Professional Diploma in Leadership and People Management to upgrade her skills. She also plans to attend English language classes as she wants to communicate better with patients who are not conversant in Mandarin and dialects.

Every month, professional hairdresser volunteers conduct haircut sessions at the Hospital for patients. Yam Poh has picked up hairdressing skills through observing them. The group attends to up to 120 patients in the three-hour session and whenever they are short of volunteers, Yam Poh is ready to step in to help.

Chew Yam Poh
Therapy Assistant
Allied Health Department
Therapy Services
Ang Mo Kio - Thye Hua Kwan Hospital

Recipient of the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards (SHQSA) 2019 Superstar Award - Intermediate and Long-Term Care Allied Health Category