My Encounter into a Lifetime of Care

by Tiffany Ng

Lily Teh is an experienced nurse with over 30 years of experience. In her previous role, she managed and mentored junior nurses in a hospital, and joined Homage as a Care Specialist in 2017. She shares her accidental stumble into nursing and home care and how it led her to a lifetime of care.

My Stumble into Nursing

Growing up, I was like any other child, just a bit more playful and a tad more curious. I had no big aspirations, in fact, my goal then was to escape from studying. At 19, I took up a nursing opportunity on the advice of my sister who told me that I would not need to study hard to become a nurse. It seemed like the perfect escape plan. Little did I know that it was a lie and that this would be a pivotal moment in my life.

From Malaysia to Singapore

Moving from Malaysia to Singapore was a fresh and exciting journey. The first three years of nursing study was the highlight of my youth. We were young and free, always up for some play after nursing school ended.

Then came graduation, and I formally embarked on my nursing journey in Singapore General Hospital (SGH). Being a nurse is like taking a trip down the journey of life. As I cared for patients, I experienced life’s fragility and mortality, in the face of injuries and illnesses. Appreciation and empathy towards others, especially my own family members, grew and became second nature to me.

Through my nursing career, I grew to realise that I love caring for people. Being able to care for the patients, watching their health improve day-by-day and finally, leaving the hospital healthier than before gave me immense satisfaction and joy. Being a nurse also led me to my now-husband and having a happy family of five.

A Match Made by Google

When I hit 55, I took a hard look at my priorities and decided to quit my job. I wanted to pursue my true passion, caring for people, till I retire. As I moved up the nursing career ladder, my focus had shifted from caring to mentoring and managing junior nurses. While this was a fulfilling responsibility, it didn’t fill me with the same level of purpose. 

In 2017, while I was searching for jobs online,  I came across Homage who was looking for individuals to care for seniors. I applied and became a Homage Care Pro which rekindled my love for care. 

During my free time, I had an avenue to resume caring for individuals beyond my family. The flexibility in my role as a freelance Homage Care Pro meant that family time was safeguarded. It allowed me to continue my hunt for my dream career, while providing the benefit of an income.

My greatest happiness comes from being able to interact with the seniors and their families. It is truly rewarding to be able to fill the gap and help a family in providing care whenever they need extra support. Being welcomed into their homes, entrusted with the care and life of someone’s loved one, and getting acknowledged for the dedicated care provided – these have all been deeply humbling moments in my life. 

Later, I took on a full-time role at Homage, as a Care Specialist when the opportunity arose. I could continue to care for seniors directly and deepen interactions with the family and seniors. It was what I was missing when I was exploring to further my career as a care professional.

The role of a Care Specialist

A Care Specialists day revolves around visits to the homes of the care recipients. These sessions, which are In-Person Care Assessments (IPCAs), take place before care commences. During this assessment, Care Specialists play a key role in facilitating the discussion of the care needed, addressing the concerns of the senior and the family, advising on the care arrangement, and providing caregiving tips. 

After each IPCA, the Care Specialist will then summarise their findings and observations in a report, which can be accessed by the family and care recipient from their Homage app.

At Homage, our IPCAs are conducted by nurses as they are equipped with the right experience and skill sets to assess the senior’s overall health while observing the home surroundings for potential dangers during care. 

It is also during these sessions where Care Specialists have the chance to interact with the families face-to-face.

It’s All about the Heart

For Lily, her journey in providing care over the years has taught her a very simple but fundamental value. She has learnt that what is important when providing care, is not solely reliant on age or the vast amount of qualifications you have as an individual. A large part of being able to deliver care from the heart is to care with empathy, dedication, and patience. These may seem like three simple items, but they go a long way in touching and transforming the care an individual experiences. 

If you are passionate about care like Lily and would like to care for seniors, we want you! Join our Homage family as a Care Pro and make a difference to our seniors’ lives today.

About the Writer
Tiffany Ng
Tiffany loves listening to stories, seeking random fun facts and exploring all things local. She started writing to spark joy and inspire kindness. In her free time, you can find her playing games with her grandparents or planning for her next big adventure on our sunny island.
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