Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

DID YOU KNOW...Bingo is the most popular game among our patients, who get really enthusiastic in the name of healthy competition! The game is also good for working their minds and coordination.

Friendly smiles, animated conversations and boisterous sing-a-longs used to be what patients looked forward to during patient-volunteer sessions. But when COVID-19 struck, these were replaced by social distancing, stricter infection control guidelines and visitor restrictions. Keeping our patients, volunteers and staff safe was a priority and physical volunteer activities had to take a backseat.

Our volunteers bring joy to patients and play an irreplaceable role in their recovery journey. Keeping our patients and volunteers engaged has always been top of the minds for the Community Relations teams at Bright Vision Hospital (BVH), Outram Community Hospital (OCH) and Sengkang Community Hospital (SKCH). “For most of our patients, their stay could span weeks as they undergo rehabilitation. Besides keeping them physically well, we wanted to care for their emotional and social needs, especially when they could not have as many visitors as before,” said Ms Lilian Koh, Community Relations Manager from SKCH. “Tapping on technology, we explored new ways to keep our volunteers and patients in touch. Even through the screen, their smiles shone on and the connections stayed warm!”

BVH was converted in April 2020 to care for medically stable COVID-19 patients, of which a majority were migrant workers. To uplift their mood as they recover in insolation, our team planned a wide variety of virtual activities, including karaoke, bingo, arts and crafts and language classes – all conducted via Zoom.

“When I first heard about the e-karaoke sessions, I volunteered to join in without hesitation. Seeing the patients’ happiness made me happy too,” said Mr Ang Bon Kee, 73, retiree, who has been volunteering at BVH since 2013.

As language barrier was a big challenge, our resourceful team came up with a multilingual pictorial manual to guide patients on connecting to Wi-Fi and logging onto Zoom. Nurses also helped to set up the online sessions on shared tablets in the wards and distributed materials like paper for origami tutorials.

On the upside, the different languages spoken turned the karaoke sessions into a vibrant melting pot of cultures as patients belted out to songs in their mother tongue, such as Bengali, while staff volunteers introduced popular local songs like “Chan Mali Chan”.

At SKCH and OCH, our virtual activities were curated to suit our elderly patients’ preferences. Going beyond games to help our patients pass time, the activities were meant to improve their sense of expression and independence.

With that in mind, our teams at both hospitals mobilised our volunteers on a series of virtual activities such as simple exercise workouts for the seniors. To keep things meaningful and fun, we conducted quizzes that revolve around the heritage theme and allowed them to reminisce about the good old days.

“We got creative with modifying bingo by replacing numbers with pictures or icons. For example, the ‘Hygiene Bingo’ with icons of sanitisers and soap was fun and also helped to remind our seniors about the importance of keeping their hands clean,” said Ms Jenny Tan, Patient Service Ambassador from SKCH.