SINGAPORE: The first inpatient dementia and paediatric hospice programmes in Singapore were launched on Wednesday (Apr 12).
Temasek Foundation Cares, the philanthropic arm of state investment firm Temasek Holdings, has committed S$1.6 million to the two-year pilot dementia programme and S$1.1 million to the three-year paediatric hospice programme.
Both programmes will be based in new wards at Assisi Hospice's six-storey building.
Dementia patients and critically ill children have specific needs that may not be met in a general palliative ward, the foundation and the hospice said in a joint press release.
“The new inpatient dementia and paediatric programmes will offer person-centred care, tailored to the needs and preferences of the patients and their family,” the release said.
Under the dementia hospice care programme, a team of experts including palliative and geriatric dementia care specialists, a nursing team, physiotherapists as well as art, music and speech therapists will attend to the medical, psychological and social needs of patients.
The paediatric programme will provide inpatient care to children with life-threatening conditions like cancer, blood disorders, congenital malformations or organ failures requiring regular access to specialised care. Paediatric care experts will also be attached to the wards.
The wards will have a higher nurse-to-patient ratio than a general palliative ward, and each single room is designed with more space to accommodate overnight stays by parents. The ward space also includes a playroom and a playground to encourage bonding between siblings.
With Singapore’s ageing population, there is a need to enhance end-of-life care, said Temasek Foundation Cares chairman Richard Magnus.
“We are taking the lead to pilot new models of end-of-life support care for both the young and old in situations where medical intervention has reached its limitation and the end is inevitable,” he said.