Every Thursday morning feels like rush hour at MWS Bethany Methodist Nursing Home.
Formed about 30 years ago, volunteers of Sunshine Group gather weekly, carpooling from different parts of Singapore to bring cheer to the residents. As part of Methodist Welfare Services, the nursing home caters to the chronically ill, destitute and frail.
Led by Mdm June Cheong, 87, Sunshine Group’s youngest volunteer is in her 60s while the oldest is 90. Being elderly themselves, they relate well to the residents, especially when they need a listening ear for their health issues and worries.
“Some of the residents have weaker family support,” says Mdm Cheong, a former counsellor. “They often feel abandoned and depressed, and lose interest in life. The work of the volunteers complement that of the staff as we work together to provide holistic person-centred care to the residents.”
Mdm Cheong recalls how a late resident, a samsui woman who had a tough life working at construction sites, was rather withdrawn and often kept to herself.
Her love for singing led her to join Sunshine Group. She eventually opened up and broke into smiles when she won applause for her powerful renditions of the popular Cantonese song 上海滩. “We saw her become a happier person over time,” says Mdm Cheong.
“We look forward to the Thursday sessions and find joy in seeing the residents happy,” adds Mdm Cheong. “It’s a therapeutic activity for us too! Working with friends who share the same passion must have reinforced the purpose and sustained our commitment in this ministry for so many years. We look forward to continuing with this meaningful work.”
Sunshine Group MWS Bethany Methodist Nursing HomeWinner of The Singapore Health Inspirational Patient Support Group Awards 2017The Singapore Health Inspirational Patient Awards is an annual award which honours individuals for their strength, courage and resilience in the face of healthcare challenges. Tags: IPA 2017
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