With Appreciation and Thanks

20 December 2023

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Dear Mr Devendran,

Congratulations on receiving the Special Recognition Award. You truly deserve the accolade as you are the exemplar of true leadership. At first, we did not know who you were when you greeted us when we visited our stepfather, Mr Narinder Singh. You also checked in with us if everything was ok. You are such a caring man who had successfully built a culture of care at Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore). We  rejoice with you for we have experienced first-hand the graciousness by SNM management and staff. 

When Ms Yogeswari first contacted us in Oct, we had to turn down the placement because we were hoping to get a place at Singapore Christian Home which was located just opposite my sister’s home. Unfortunately there was restricted frequency for visitation so we had to reject them for the sake of our father’s emotional well-being. We contacted Ms Yogeswari and she understood our predicament. Our father was offered a place soon after. We were so grateful to Ms Yogeswari and SNM for giving our father a second chance. 

Ms Huishi has been the point of contact whenever we need help. Eg. When the crank of the bed was faulty. She also helped us to convey and clarify our doubts. Never once we felt slighted. Ms Yogeswari is also always reassuring on the support my father may need. 

The 2 ladies at the reception are the first image of SNM. They embodied the symbol of care which SNM stands for. Ms Jawiah’s beautiful smiles are infectious and certainly brighten up our day from the time we arrive till the time we leave the premise. I had knee surgery recently and had trouble walking. Ms Jawiah even escorted me to my ride. That level of care really touched my heart.

In the beginning, our father showed a degree of resistance in adapting to SNM. This was because he was pampered at AMK Community Hospital and had made friends in the ward. But now he is becoming more childlike. He will cry, wanting to go home. We told him that we can only bring him home when he is able to move from his bed to the wheelchair, and clean himself. It will take awhile to get a suitable helper and even that, she will not be strong enough to support him if he is immobile. He is also fussy about food and reportedly eats very little but he enjoys ice-cream given by nurses. He also love outings and would tell us about the trips. He was happy when we showed him a photo of PM Lee shaking his hand during Deepavali dinner. These exposures help to stimulate his brain plasticity as he can be quite delusional and disconnects from reality. A great shoutout to Ms Wani and Ms Yogeswari for sending us photos so that our family has a glimpse of our father’s adventures. 

SEN Matthew and ANM Chris are always very helpful when we have requests. Eg. Broken fan or change of room. When our father had a meltdown recently, SEN Matthew came over to console him. As it is school break and I do not have to work, I asked ANM Chris if I could help my father during lunch. Immediately, he made arrangement for the meal to be brought to the visitor’s area. It shows that there is effective communication within the team and they are willing to go the extra miles.

The nurses on level 3 (eg. Paul, Sampath, Lahiru, Krishan, Arun, Joanna, Priya and some others we did not get the names) dote on our father and treat him like a child. As other residents in his room are not talking to my father, he appreciates the little interaction he has with the nurses. They shave for him, cut his hair, feed him, apply antiseptic cream on his arms, etc. Whenever we visit, he wants us to bring extra yogurt, coke, ice jelly cocktail, sardine puffs, etc so he can share with them. In a small way, he wants to show his appreciation for their love and dedication. We are delighted to see the rapport they have established. They are like his children and grandchildren. In a way, SNM is not a mere institution. It gives my father a home and a family during our absence.

My father dislikes exercise. But at SNM, he is looking forward for his “exercise day”. He would even tell us not to visit him that day because he did not want to miss his session. During one of the visits, my father saw his physiotherapist and called out to him. His eyes were beaming when he asked the therapist on their next session. We did not get the name of his physiotherapist but we were surprised at the significant and positive change of interest in our father towards physical activity.

Although our father’s mental state remains fragile, we believe that the care and support extended by these healthcare heroes are instrumental in helping our father not only to adapt, but also to have the motivation to work on his daily living skills and to continue to live with dignity until the day he is ready to go back home and live with us again.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. 

Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore) Pte.

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