When a group of Ren Ci Nursing Home residents spoke of their yearning to fulfil their dreams of being hawkers, Bridget and her team set out to make those dreams come true. They helped the residents to purchase ingredients at the market and had them set up “hawker stalls” for a special event at the Home.

“They prepared prawn noodles, fruits and kopi, and I could see how happy they were serving the hawker fare,”said Bridget. For one resident who hadlimited abilities but had always wanted to be a Kopitiam stall owner, the team modified a coffee stall for him.

This was all part of the OASIS (Older Adults Supporting in Sharing) programme developed by Bridget and her team of social workers at Ren Ci Hospital in 2011. The programme uses reminiscence therapy, reconciliatory techniques and reintegration approach to help residents adapt to living in a long-term residential facility and come to terms with their illness.

“It tugged at my heartstrings when I heard some residents say that they are just waiting for the end of their lives at the Home. At this stage of their life, it is important for the elderly to feel that they can give back meaningfully and to be able to share their life experiences,” shared Bridget.

Besides caring for patients, Bridget was also keen to provide better support for fellow healthcare staff. She co-founded the “Colour Me Happy” project, which helps nurses in Ren Ci heighten their awareness of how well they are coping. The programme introduced a special deck of cards with therapy questions that facilitates conversations about negative emotions they may have during a difficult day.

“Healthcare professionals can be prone to burnout from the demands of patient care. Under this programme, nurses can develop better self-care habits and seek emotional support from social worker colleagues,” shared Bridget. The programme garnered such positive feedback that it has also been introduced to other healthcare professionals.

Bridget Monica Das
Head of Department
Social Work & Counselling Department
Ren Ci Hospital

Recipient of the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards (SHQSA) 2020 Superstar Award - Intermediate and Long-Term Care Allied Health Category