With the help of a walking stick, Mdm Lim Ah Thin, 73, took slow but steady strides on a concrete pathway at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. She was participating in MWS Empowerun, a fundraising and outreach event by the Methodist Welfare Services (MWS), with an in-person run/walk held on 29 October 2022.
It is hard to imagine that Mdm Lim was partially paralysed just a few months prior. A fiercely independent woman, Mdm Lim found herself unable to work or live on her own after a stroke in February 2022 left her mobility-impaired.
“On 19 February, I woke up to find myself lying on the bathroom floor. I had fallen and lost consciousness the day before,” recounted Mdm Lim. “I felt very afraid as I couldn’t move the right side of my body. Using my left side, I dragged myself all the way to the living room, and reached for my mobile to call my sister. She called an ambulance, which came and sent me to the emergency department at Changi General Hospital. I was subsequently transferred to a community hospital.”
Getting back on her feet
After her discharge from the hospital, Mdm Lim moved to live with her sister and her family so they could watch over her.
The senior also enrolled in the active rehab programme at the Day Rehabilitation Centre at MWS Senior Care Centre (SCC) – Eunos, as she suffered from weakness on the right side of her body due to stroke. She was seen by a physiotherapist and occupational therapist who worked with her on her strength, balance and endurance, and guided her to perform daily living activities.
Within three months, Mdm Lim saw a significant improvement in her strength and mobility, and was able to reintegrate into the community. “I can now do light household chores and move about independently at home without a walking stick. I also became confident enough to take public transport to the market by myself,” she said.
“I was very down in the initial stages of my therapy as I wasn’t sure if I was going to get better. But I didn’t want to burden anyone, so I kept my worries to myself. Sometimes, I would hide in the toilet to cry. I had lost all hope and thought of giving up. But now, I am starting to see hope again.”
Expanding community-based services for seniors
Besides providing community rehabilitation services to clients like Mdm Lim, MWS SCC
– Eunos also offers day care for frailer older adults, including those at different stages of dementia. Some 70 per cent of the SCC’s day care slots cater to those with dementia. Day care clients are engaged in activities like painting and pedal exercising to stimulate their cognitive abilities and slow deterioration.
Co-located with Eunos Polyclinic, MWS SCC – Eunos fills a critical gap in MWS’ continuum of eldercare services—which comprises a network of seven Senior Activity Centres and Active Ageing Centres, and an integrated Home Care & Home Hospice service—to support seniors to age in place.
The SCC was officially opened on 3 November, where Guest-of-Honour, Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, spoke on the timeliness of its opening in addressing the healthcare needs of a rapidly ageing population.
The SCC gives seniors “a sense of home, and a space to age gracefully with dignity and confidence that they are being cared for,” said Mr Tong, who is also Second Minister for Law. He added that “how we look after the seniors who age in our society is a strong marker for how gracious we are as a society”.
Help seniors like Mdm Lim find hope in hard times
MWS Senior Care Centre – Eunos supports frailer older adults to continue living in the community through day care and active rehabilitation services. The majority of our clients require financial assistance for our services, and your giving can help clients like Mdm Lim achieve community reintegration, or be engaged with fellow seniors in a home- like environment. Just as we have found our living hope that is Jesus Christ, we can also be a conduit of hope to show God’s unconditional love to the world. To donate, visit mws.sg/give.