Hospital goes upstream in efforts to promote positive ageing

Singapore’s first hospital dedicated to the elderly sick, St Luke’s Hospital (SLH), celebrates its 25th anniversary by going upstream with a series of initiatives to promote positive ageing.

Highlights include the launch of an e-book celebrating the silver stories of 25 individuals 65 and above from across the community and the premiere of a documentary film that looks at the life story and journey of five of them.

Says Dr Peng Chung Mien, Chairman of St Luke’s Hospital, “In the coming years, we want to go upstream to strengthen our healthcare services so that seniors can stay active and live a meaningful life. We are cognisant that only through collaborations with community partners can we then sustain the healthcare journey for everyone.”

Titled Being Silver, the e-book reaches out to the community through stories of the individuals grouped into three strands to celebrate the resilience of our silver generation and showing that quality of life is possible even as one ages.

The First Strand comprises members of SLH’s foundation churches and organisations. They represent the origins of SLH and the lives of these individuals display a pioneering spirit filled with faith, love and hope. The Second Strand encompasses our patients, staff and volunteers. They are the core strand and central focus of the hospital. Many of them have accorded SLH the status of being their second home due to the deep bonds formed and the memories cherished. The Third Strand consists of members from the public who stand with us in our cause. They include a critical group of supporters who share their time being our ambassadors and donating to support our clients and patients. The profiles in the book demonstrates through the personal journeys, how they are motivated to overcome challenges and arrive at their current phase of physical, emotional and social well-being. Individuals featured include:

  • Ms Ong Bee Yan, 65, challenged herself to become an entrepreneur to keep her mind active in a bid to prevent the onset of dementia; she convinced her introvert self to put herself “out of the box”, started modelling and an Instagram account to challenge unhealthy beliefs and change mindset on the elderly.
  • Mr Tan Ann Seng, 73, was dealt with a stroke and cancer over a span of ten years but was resolute to overcome physical limitations, and continue to contribute in work and society as soon as he recovers. He believes that “you can overcome any challenge if you try.” He has returned to employment and continues to volunteer to inspire others who may be in despair over the loss of physical health.

Their stories and 3 others, Mrs Yong Sek Long – a 92-year-old retired teacher and vice-chairperson of Senior Citizens’ Bethesda Katong Church, Mr Ching Teng Soon an 86-year-old former national bodybuilder and 83-year-old Dr Eileen Aw, solemnizer, first Executive/ Medical Director of St Luke’s Hospital), were featured in a charity film premiered 15 October, Friday, 8.30pm on the hospital’s YouTube Channel bit.ly/slhsgyt.

Being Silver is SLH’s key fundraising event on-going till end of this year, for the hospital to help its patients to recover, return home and reintegrate to the community. Well-wishers can donate via https://www.giving.sg/slh/silverscreen from now till 31 December 2021. The hospital seeks to raise $1 million from the event.

You may also view the e-book here: https://www.slh.org.sg/gosilver/silver-stories/.

The book and film with the same title Being Silver, was launched by Minister for Health Mr Ong Ye Kung.

“St Luke’s Hospital looks forward to many more years of being a strong cord of support within the community to empower many to take ownership of their health and lead healthier and enriched lives in their silver years and beyond,” says A/Prof Tan Boon Yeow, Chief Executive Officer of St Luke’s Hospital.