St Joseph’s Home, a Home Centered on the Heart of Residents

On 4 November 2017, 21 staff from the Caritas family including board members, trustees, families and friends visited the newly reopened St Joseph’s Home at Jurong West. The six-story home has a rooftop garden, and each floor can house a total of 96 residents.

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The home is positioned as the first intergenerational home in Singapore, and has increased its capacity with over 412 beds for residents, almost three times its previous capacity. A new Infant and Childcare Centre has been built within the premises of the home too.

The team was warmly received by Sister Geraldine Tan, the Executive Director of St Joseph’s Home.  The ‘Peace’ room at the entrance includes a private room that functions as a holding room for deceased residents. Sister Geraldine explained that the dignity of a person remains even after passing. As all residents of the home enter from the front door, they should eventually leave from the same door too.

At the Fun House; where residents may enjoy a relaxing shampoo and a haircut, and participate in arts and crafts activities conducted by volunteers.

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The ‘Peace’ room
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The Fun House where activities are conducted by volunteers for residents
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The Dusk to Dawn Centre that offers night care service for persons with dementia experiencing sundowning
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The hydrotherapy pool with adjustable depth

Located a stone’s throw away is the Dusk to Dawn Centre that offers night care service for persons with dementia experiencing sundowning. Sundowning is an effect that cause persons with dementia to be increasingly confused and agitated towards the late afternoon and evening. They could experience disturbed sleep and even be wide awake at night. This way, caregivers have quality rest at night, knowing that their loved ones are cared for by healthcare professionals. St Joseph’s Home also has its own gym and hydrotherapy pool with adjustable depth.

With the residents’ mental wellbeing in mind, the room and bed numbers resemble HDB unit numbers. Additionally, rooms are intentionally furnished with wooden furniture instead of metal which is reminiscent of hospitals. There are three dining areas on each floor with tables carefully designed to be comfortable for the ninety-five percent of residents who use wheelchairs.

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The hospice designed to look like the bright and lively streets of Italy

The team also visited the hospice which has a capacity of 20 beds. Designed to bring joy and cheer, the hospice looks like the bright and lively streets of Italy. The location of the chapel, at the centre of the premises, reminds staff and residents to place God in the center of their lives.

The new intergeneration concept at St Joseph’s Home is reflected through the architecture throughout the home.

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The common canteen area for both residents and children from the infant and child care centre within the home
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The St Joseph’s Home intergeneration and wheelchair-friendly playground allows conducive interaction time between residents and children outdoors
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Thirty percent of the curriculum of the infant and child care centre involves interaction with residents of the home

The Caritas Singapore team was deeply touched at the visit to St Joseph’s Home. We saw through the staff’s eyes how they valued human dignity and love; a love that is centered on God, and on the hearts of those they serve.

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Caritas family including board members, trustees, families and friends with Sr Geraldine Tan, Executive Director of St Joseph’s Home

To the team at St Joseph’s Home: Thank you for being a great witness to love!