With the easing of the community measures, Jamiyah Nursing Home (Darul Syifaa) reopened its doors to welcome volunteers. On 17 May 2022, Young SMOU organised a distribution in lieu of Hari Raya Puasa with SMOU officials and volunteers at the home to spread festive cheer to the seniors. To prepare for the distribution, a group of youth volunteers headed down to the nursing home on 12 May and packed near 200 care bags for the seniors.
Together with our youth volunteers, SMOU President Mr Rahim Jaffar, General Secretary Ms Mary Liew, Secretary Mr Terence Tan and YSMOU Chairman Mr Dominic Yong participated in the initiative. The seniors welcomed SMOU excitedly as it was the first time, after two years, where volunteers were able to meet and interact with the seniors in-person.
The senior activity centre bustled with joy and energy as the volunteers distributed bags consisting of healthy snacks and basic necessities to the seniors.
Mr Rahim Jaffar and Ms Mary Liew visited the dementia ward to hand out the goodie bags and spread some Hari Raya cheer to them. The seniors were elated with their visit and one senior even sang a song for them.
Over at the Seniors Care Center (SCC), a terrarium activity was held and close to 30 seniors participated with the help of the youth volunteers. The seniors and volunteers were engrossed with beautifying their terrarium with colourful pebbles and sand. Towards the end of the activity, one could see a big smile on the seniors’ face as they were delighted with their creation.
The seniors were also in for a treat as the meals were specially catered for the festive season.
As a small gesture to thank the healthcare workers and staff of Jamiyah Nursing Home who have put in so much effort in caring for the elderly during the challenging period, the Union prepared some tea break light refreshments for them. SMOU also presented to the Nursing home a handmade pottery piece made by Young SMOU with the wording “Care and Share” (one of SMOU’s core values) embedded on it.
To end off the eventful day, Head of Jamiyah Nursing Home Mdm Ling Bee Sian presented SMOU officials a handmade art piece done by the seniors of the nursing home, a gesture to thank the Union for organising the outreach and looking out for the Nursing Home. The distribution would have been impossible without our youth volunteers and SMOU would like to thank them for coming forward.
As the pandemic eases off, the efforts of those who braved through its height cannot be forgotten. SMOU would like to thank all the frontline workers and nursing staff who powered through and shown perseverance during a time of uncertainty and distress. The Union recognises your efforts to the community and appreciates you.
“As a staff at Jamiyah Nursing Home, the pandemic brought about worry as I noticed that the period of lockdown meant no visits, outings or gatherings for the seniors, which impacted their physical and mental well-being. Some of the used-to-be lively residents became quiet. However, with the recent easing of measures, I could see on the seniors’ faces how they enjoyed the terrarium activity and were happy to receive the goodie bags and special lunch that was catered for them. Outings have always been the number one item on our folks’ list, with food being a close second. Thank you SMOU for organising this outreach programme to uplift our seniors’ spirits and we hope to see you again soon!”
“I have always wanted to experience volunteering hence I decided to sign up for this event. As a first-time volunteer, it was very heart-warming to see the seniors smiling and thanking us when we were handing out the care bags to them. I could see how excited the seniors were when participating in the terrarium activity. As I engaged with the seniors, it felt exactly like talking to my own grandparents and that was very heartening for me. Some shared how happy they were to see visitors and I look forward to the next volunteering opportunity.”