befriending services for the elderly

A Complete Guide to Elderly Befriending Services in Singapore

Befrienders can keep loneliness and isolation at bay, and help us stay active in body, mind, and within our community.

by Hannah Grey

Over the last five decades, it is no doubt that Singapore has become an aged society and will continue to remain this way in the coming years. Along with the social issue of our increasingly ageing population, the loneliness epidemic among Singapore’s elderly is something that must not be neglected.

From being placed in nursing homes to living alone, many Singaporean seniors experience isolation, abandonment and even boredom. In order to combat this social problem, many countries all over the world began developing befriending schemes for the elderly, including Singapore.

According to Harvard, broader social interaction for seniors results in higher levels of physical activity, fewer negative feelings, and greater positive moods—all of which are essential aspects of growing older. While it seems like a simple task, the impact of befriending an elderly person can make a big difference in their journey towards ageing in place.

Why We Need Befriending Services

Changes in family patterns such as family members prioritising work responsibilities, grieving the loss of a loved one, or a shrinking family size can result in weakened family support for seniors. As our elderly family members start to grow older, the reality of loneliness brought by old age becomes increasingly apparent. When neglected, this could have grave effects on their emotional health such as suicidal tendencies or symptoms of depression. Here are some tips that can help you better care for a loved one with depression.

In 2018, the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) reported that the number of suicides committed by the elderly are drastically increasing each year due to neglect by family members and not knowing how to seek help regarding their struggles. Creating purposeful relationships through befriending services are incredibly helpful in complementing family support with community support, which can improve the overall emotional and psychological welfare of the older adults. 

This is just one of the many ways we can uplift seniors in their golden years and eradicate feelings of social isolation and loneliness. Sometimes, all they want is a listening ear and the company of a friend.

Every individual is different, and your loved one has care needs that are unique. Engaging a caregiver for your loved one not only encourages interaction; it also helps build a strong emotional support for your loved one.

To give your loved one the best care he/she deserves, we provide a free care consultation for you and your loved one, to ensure that they get a Care Professional that best suits their needs.

Book a Free Care Consultation with Homage Today >

What Does a Befriender Do?

Befrienders typically consist of a group of people who are trained to provide social and psycho-emotional support to seniors through nursing home or weekly home visits. The aim of befriending services is to allow elderly persons in Singapore to age in place within their respective communities while preventing loneliness. Many of these seniors experience extended periods of social isolation and some even go days without any interaction or physical contact, especially for those living alone. 

These interactions not only provide relief for the elderly, but are also an opportunity for befrienders to spot areas of improvement in a senior’s daily environment, such as recommending the installation of grab bars or non-slip mats to prevent falls. Befrienders may then provide the necessary assistance or connect the seniors to the relevant service providers. Befrienders are also put through training prior to engaging with the elderly to help them build effective relationships with the seniors and be equipped with the necessary knowledge to facilitate befriending projects as well. 

Getting the Best Companionship for Your Loved One

If you require a befriender that is equipped with professional nursing skills, Homage’s Care Professionals are able to provide companionship and qualified care for you and your loved ones.

This is a more suitable option for elderly loved ones who prefer to remain in the home environment, and those who require qualified care. Homage offers companionship and caregiving services from as short as 1-hour to 24-hours each time, available on an ad-hoc or long-term regular basis.

Book a Free Care Consultation with Homage Today >

How Does Befriending Work?

Although being friends with an older person is something that almost anyone can do, organisations that particularly provide befriending services for the elderly have standard practices when carrying out these activities. Usually, befriending begins with a conversation. You can talk about anything under the sun – from your loved one’s hobbies, interests and accomplishments. A good listening ear goes a long way towards meaningful engagement between the befriender and your loved one. 

Besides conversations, befrienders can share a simple home-cooked meal with an elderly, or keep them engaged by empowering them to try something new!

More Than Just Your Average Befriender

Homage offers a wide range of home-based care services that can help alleviate loneliness among older adults.

Our Care Professionals are equipped with the right skills to handle complex medical conditions, and are trained to manage and regulate different emotions faced by your loved one. On top of providing meaningful companionship, our Care Professionals are able to help you with the following:

For more information, schedule a free consult with the Homage Care Advisory Team and they will reach out to you within 48-hours.

List of Befriending Services in Singapore

Here is a list of befriending services in Singapore that you can reach out to.

Lion Befrienders

TOUCH Community Services

  • Location: Blk 162 Bukit Merah Central #05-3545
  • Telephone: 6377 0122
  • Operating Hours: Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm 

Agency for Integrated Care (AIC)

REACH Community Services

Health Hub

Brahm Centre 

Bethesda Care Centre 

ElderAid by Singapore Red Cross 

Filos Community Services 

Montfort Care 

Helping Older Adults Cope with Loneliness

There are many people in the community who are more than willing to lend a helping hand or listening ear to our beloved seniors, so there is no shame in reaching out for help.

If your loved one can benefit from having a caregiver around for companionship or to perform check-in visits from time-to-time, Homage can help. Our Care Professionals are trained and experienced in caring for the elderly. Besides companionship, our Care Professionals can help with meal preparation as well as support with various activities of daily living such as transferring and showering.

Homage offers care packages starting from just $20/hr. You can even save up to 20% with our care packages for multiple sessions. Book a free consultation with our Care Advisors to find out more today!

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If your loved one or someone you know can benefit from companionship and befriending services, we can help. Reach out to our Care Advisors at 6100 0055 to find out more.

 

About the Writer
Hannah Grey
Hannah is an all-around creative with a flair for travel and photography. She also only has her coffee black, which should be the only way to drink it.
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