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Bringing cheer to the elderly during mid-autumn festival

Keppel Land, Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore and care services provider Homage are lending a helping hand in these difficult times

Above: In celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, 25 volunteers from Keppel Land, led by Tan Swee Yiow (second from left), CEO of Keppel Land, packed and distributed care packs to 100 seniors living in Jurong.

Above: Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore staff with a patient of Home Nursing Foundation.


KEPPEL Land Limited (Keppel Land) partnered the Lions Befrienders Service Association (Singapore) (Lions Befrienders) to provide care packs to 100 seniors living in Jurong, in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

25 volunteers from Keppel Land, led by Tan Swee Yiow, CEO of Keppel Land, packed and distributed the care packs which each contained a box of mooncakes, surgical masks and other food items.

Mr Tan said: "Keppel Land is committed to engage and positively impact communities wherever it operates. Seniors, in particular those who are socially isolated and have limited resources, have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. As we continue to do our part to uplift the community, we hope that our efforts will bring festive cheer to them during this difficult time."

Anthony Tay, chairman of Lions Befrienders, said: "The festive period can be a very lonely time for many of our seniors who don't have anyone to share the special occasion with. The distribution of care packs by Keppel Land helps to spread care and warmth, enabling our seniors in the community to enjoy a happy Mid-Autumn Festival."

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Mooncakes baked by stay-at-home mums

In the same vein, Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore Ltd (TMLS) delivered 200 boxes of mooncakes baked by a group of stay-at-home mums from Food Playground to healthcare professionals and patients of Home Nursing Foundation.

Volunteers and the management team from TMLS visited the headquarters of Home Nursing Foundation (HNF) and HNF Wellness@Hougang to distribute the mooncakes on Tuesday.

"As trusted representatives of the company, we are dedicated to bring about a positive impact on the communities we live in," said Gilbert Pak, chief marketing officer of TMLS.

Christina Tiong, chief executive officer of HNF, said: "TMLS reached out to us and shared their desire to thank our healthcare professionals for their efforts, as well as to bring cheer to our elderly patients by sending them handcrafted mooncakes. It is also heartening to know that these mooncakes are from a home-based business that empowers stay-at-home mothers. It is in challenging times like now that we really need to stand up for and support each other."

Dr Tiong said that the landscape for homecare giving has changed with the pandemic.

She added: "The pandemic has reduced the number of visits we can make in a day, as we need to screen the patients, and also put on PPE. We go direct to patient's homes and no longer meet in the office daily, so we face constraints in communications among the teams of doctors and nurses. However, we have improved in using technology, such as using Video Rehab and Telemedicine consult, and fintech for money collection.

"Most importantly, most patients, caregivers and family members prefer not to go to the hospital, so our home care services are very critical for continuous care and support of the frail patients at home."

Founded in 2016, Homage is a care services provider in Singapore. Their smart tech platform empowers their healthcare professionals to deliver a wide range of home and community-based caregiving services, including nursing and rehabilitation.

Homage had been partnering social service agencies and governmental service providers for a number of years. When Covid-19 hit, the Health Ministry reached out to Homage for support since there was a strong need for community-based swab testing and other health support screening activities.

Over 400 Homage caregivers who volunteered to be part of the taskforce were thus deployed to conduct swab testing on patients, and became part of the national effort to fight Covid-19.

Gillian Tee, co-founder and CEO, Homage, said: "We felt this strong sense of urgency to act. With the strength and size of health care professionals on our platform, we couldn't just sit back. We could be a part of the solution. We also felt very compelled to equip our CarePros with the right safety equipment and PPE training/mask fitting. Fortunately, each CarePro on our platform had already been individually trained with infection control measures, so in many ways we were ready to be mobilised."

With the help of DBS Foundation Business Transformation and Improvement (BTI) Grant - which aims to help social enterprises through these tough times - Homage is on track to achieving its target of doing proactive testing on over 80,000 beneficiaries by end of the year. They have also since doubled their taskforce to 400 responders.

DBS Foundation had set aside S$500,000 in its BTI Grant this year, and the purpose was to provide funding support to social enterprises so that they can protect and create jobs, and pivot digitally in search of new income streams to transform their business operations, ultimately empowering them to continue serving their beneficiaries and the wider community.

Beyond swab testing, Homage is also supporting in other ways that go towards early detection of Covid-19, which include providing basic health screening services and telemedicine to migrant worker dorms, and training nurses on swab testing capabilities in tandem with restructured hospitals including TTSH.

Ms Tee said: "After about six months of ongoing Covid-19 deployments, we decided to hold a Virtual CarePro appreciation night with our Covid responders, where many of them shared their experiences of providing care throughout this pandemic. They expressed that their loved ones were concerned for them and their risk of infection but, despite that, they still felt that it was a given that they needed to help the community with the skills they had. They were also confident of doing so, given the training and PPE provided. It was a special moment and incredibly inspiring."

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