During our last days, some of us may simply want to spend some time in a familiar environment surrounded by our loved ones. Residents of nursing homes, however, have little personal space to spend their final moments in private with their family members. Ren Ci Hospital recognised this challenge and set about to change it.
Ren Ci’s “Living Well, Leaving Well” programme aims to provide a conducive environment and a private space for residents to spend their final moments with loved ones.
Designated healing rooms help residents spend their last days with dignity, while holding rooms are prepared to help families heal from the passing of a loved one.
At the newly opened Ren Ci @Ang Mo Kio nursing home, there are eight healing rooms to cater to over 40 patients at their end-of-life stage. This is provided at no additional charge. Ren Ci is one of the few nursing homes in Singapore to offer such rooms for residents during their last days.
“In the final moments of the seniors’ life, we hope to provide the desired care for the seniors and support for their family and friends sharing that final journey,” shared Bridget Monica Das, Head of Social Work and Counselling.
With a US$25,000 (S$34,000) sponsorship from the Harley-Davidson Fund, Ren Ci’s art therapist came up with different concepts for the eight healing rooms. The healing and holding rooms are thoughtfully designed to create a spiritually sensitive space for the resident to live out his or her last days with privacy, dignity and respect.
Each healing room is themed after the most resilient trees in the world, such as Redwood or Palm, while the holding rooms are prepared in soothing coastal colours. A feature wall in each healing room also holds framed artworks based on the room’s theme. In general, these themes were chosen as the warm colours of nature give off a sense of serenity, harmony and compassion.
Residents are encouraged to bring items they hold close to their hearts, such as family photos or belongings to personalise the rooms. Family members may also stay over to accompany the residents on the last leg of their journey.
Ren Ci shared that to date, one resident had used the healing room. The family of the late resident expressed that the healing room helped their mother remain calm, and that she was able to reconnect with her loved ones. That was the deciding factor for the family to let her stay at the home instead of transferring her to a hospice. The family was grateful that their mother had the opportunity to spend her end of life in peace.
This service will soon be made available at Ren Ci @ Bukit Batok with four healing rooms and holding rooms slated to be completed by July 2019.