Healthcare Humanity Awards - Josephine Koh, Nursing Manager, TOUCH Community Services
I always encourage my team to observe and empower seniors so they can take care of their own health. It helps seniors to build self-esteem and confidence. I prefer to do things with them, and not for them. If seniors are able to perform a simple task, I will let them learn and show them how to do it.
I have been in nursing for over 25 years. Now with my team of 12 nurses, we visit homes of frail seniors to provide general nursing care and education. Our job is to help seniors age well both at home and in the community. I strongly believe that with proper care, we can improve the quality of life for these seniors, even if they may be bed-bound or have cognitive impairment.
I remember a case where an elderly caregiver who is in his 80s had a brain haemorrhage after a fall. His wife, a wheelchair user, is dependent on supplemental oxygen at home, and was not in any condition to help him. I visited him during his stay in ICU and updated his wife regularly on his condition. I also made care arrangements for them. As nurses, our jobs should always evolve to suit not just the medical needs, but social needs of seniors as well.
Community nursing is rewarding, and what keeps me going are words of encouragement, a hug, a bright smile and home-cooked food from seniors. These make my day!