Tell us about yourself.
I am 32 years old in 2020. My hobbies are water sports, travelling and art-related craft. I enjoy playing with toddlers and am always looking out for new interesting activities to try. I am also a Master of Gerontology alumna at SUSS.
Why did you decide to pursue your career?
I work with older adults in the course of my current work as a senior occupational therapist in the private sector. It was hence a natural step for me to pursue the Master of Gerontology programme at SUSS to hone my skills for the management of older adults in the community. The programme would also give me a better understanding of community care and how to meet its needs.
In general, the course was also a means to upgrade my skills and become a better therapist. My husband, who is a doctor caring for older adults, also encouraged me to pursue this course of further studies and build my knowledge in the Gerontology sector.
Please share some rewarding experiences from your work.
During an internship in the elder care sector that I was involved in as a Gerontology student at SUSS, I helped to develop a sensory programme for people with dementia. This was implemented about a month into the internship. I also personally trained the therapy assistant who would be operating the programme. It was a fruitful experience for all involved. The patients really enjoyed the programme and came out of it less restless and more alert. The programme's sustainability is manifested in its continuation till this day.
I also created a gardening programme for seniors whilst in the nursing home setting. This was received positively by residents and staff, culminating in the “Best Active Ageing Programme – Residential” at the 5th Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards. This was professionally and personally rewarding for me, as it recognised my professional skill in developing such programmes, and on a personal level, when I saw the smiles and interaction that the gardening elicited in the residents.
What goals are you working towards?
Through my work in this sector, I hope to build greater social awareness of the issues that may be faced by the elderly and promote the spirit of volunteerism to care for them. I also hope to work more closely with the elderly and be directly involved in helping them to maximise their potential.
For now, the focus is on looking after my two children, including a two-month old newborn. In the future, I may consider pursuing a PhD or full-time work.
How has your SUSS experience shaped you and helped you pursue your passion?
One of the highlights from my time at SUSS was meeting new friends from different backgrounds and professions. I remember a study trip to Taiwan which we went on together. We had a lot of fun learning, together, about the elder care system in another country. I am also grateful to our SUSS lecturers, who are fully supportive of our learning endeavours. These networks help us as a gerontology class to collaboratively benefit the seniors in Singapore with various programmes and educational activities.