EH Alliance News
New nursing home facility helps patients recover and go home
The 32-bed Grace Corner at The Salvation Army Peacehaven Nursing Home is the first nursing home facility that provides a structured programme for lower-intensity rehabilitation for patients with fractures and strokes, enabling them to return home within 12 weeks.
Thursday, 7 June 2012 – Patients who suffer debilitating conditions like hip fractures or strokes may require longer periods of rehabilitation to regain their mobility and daily functions. This results in either prolonged stays in hospitals and/or difficulty in following rehabilitation requirements when they are discharged, as they need help to move about and do day-to-day activities like eating and showering.
But now, they can benefit from a new transitional convalescent facility simply called “Grace Corner”. Officially launched today by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health, Grace Corner provides focused, lower-intensity rehabilitation over six to 12 weeks to help them regain maximum mobility to return home and live as independently as possible.
The concept of a transitional convalescent facility was formed by the Ministry of Health’s Nursing Home Expert Panel, which looks into improving rehabilitative facilities at nursing homes. The Eastern Health Alliance, regional health system for eastern Singapore – through its members The Salvation Army Peacehaven Nursing Home and Changi General Hospital (CGH) – took up this idea and set up Grace Corner in December 2011, to admit patients from CGH who need a longer period of rehabilitation than the usual two to five weeks at a community hospital.
“There is a gap in the healthcare system between the hospital and home. People who need a longer time to rehabilitate will have to stay in the hospital for an extended period, return to their homes or be admitted into a nursing home prematurely, all of which are not ideal for them to achieve their best recovery outcome,” explained Madam Low Mui Lang, Executive Director of The Salvation Army Peacehaven Nursing Home and a member of the Nursing Home Expert Panel.
Not your ‘usual’ nursing home facility
Grace Corner completely busts the traditional stereotypes of what nursing home facilities are. It is designed like a home environment complete with kitchen, common dining table, television set and sofas. The 32-bed facility provides a range of lifestyle activities for its ‘clients’ – not patients, Madam Low stresses, “because they are no longer sick” – to plan their daily activities such as sewing, gardening and watching TV around twice-daily therapy sessions consisting of stretching and muscle-strengthening exercises.
At Grace Corner, clients are encouraged to make their own drinks, get themselves into and out of bed, shower and move about independently after an initial assessment. All these are meant to give clients the confidence they need to resume a pattern of normal and independent living, to prepare them for their successful return to the community. The daily programme is run by a dedicated team of nurses, therapists and healthcare assistants at the nursing home, and geriatric medicine doctors from CGH.
Results of this new model of care at Grace Corner over the last six months have been promising. Preliminary data showed that all 20 clients discharged from Grace Corner so far experienced an increased sense of well-being by 77% on average, and most of them – 80% – regained their mobility they had before they were hospitalised.
“The results are very encouraging, and tell us that we are heading in the right direction,” said Madam Low, adding: “We are happy to share our experiences and work with other nursing homes who wish to set up such facilities.” Her team is looking to extend the programme to more CGH patients with disabling conditions over the next year.
Grace Corner is supported by the Ministry of Health and patients can receive government subsidy depending on means testing, making care affordable.
Grace Corner is the latest initiative by the Eastern Health Alliance to address the intermediate and long-term care needs of the community in eastern Singapore. Group CEO of the Eastern Health Alliance, Mr T. K. Udairam said: “Grace Corner is an example of how healthcare institutions under the Alliance work together to improve the delivery of healthcare, using their specific expertise to bring about innovative solutions. It is all about smoothly and efficiently right-siting people so that they receive the right care at the right time. We are very glad to be working closely together with our partners to meet the healthcare needs of the community.”
About The Salvation Army Peacehaven Nursing Home
The Salvation Army Peacehaven Nursing Home is a 401-bed facility with a full range of services aimed at providing professional care in a Christian environment for the ailing poor. Opened in 2000, it is the nursing home with the largest number of beds in Singapore, and is run by The Salvation Army, a global Christian charity. Its residents have varying degrees of mental or physical disability, and the majority are either destitute or from low-income families.
Peacehaven, located at Upper Changi Road North, has 13 separate Resident Living Areas, each designed as an individual home-like environment with its own bathroom, pantry, television and nurse’s station. The needs of the residents are met in a holistic manner, with services ranging from clinical care like medication management, wound-dressing and colostomy care; therapy from occupational and recreational therapists; and advice from allied health professionals such as dietitians, geriatricians and pharmacists.
Peacehaven seeks to make residents as comfortable as possible by creating a homely ambience. It was the first nursing home in Singapore to set up a specially designed facility in 2006 called the Hope Centre, to allow people with early to moderate dementia to live in a home-like environment with their own rooms. The facility has since become a role model and showcase for the care of relatively independent dementia residents.
About the Eastern Health Alliance
The Eastern Health Alliance is the regional health system for eastern Singapore. The members are Changi General Hospital, St Andrew’s Community Hospital, SingHealth Polyclinics and The Salvation Army Peacehaven Nursing Home. It is a partnership of health service providers dedicated to delivering, through their combined expertise, the right quality care at the right time for each patient. The Eastern Health Alliance coordinates an integrated range of healthcare services, from disease prevention, treatment, through to ongoing care. For more information, please visit www.easternhealth.sg.