Many Singaporean elders encounter loneliness, desertion, and even boredom as a result of being placed in nursing facilities. Several countries, including Singapore, started creating senior befriending programs to address this societal issue. Even though it might appear like a simple activity, making a friend for an older person can have a significant influence on their ability to age in place.
What Is a Befriender?
In nursing facilities or as part of elderly home care services in Singapore, befrienders are often persons who have received special training in helping elders with their social and psychological needs. Befriending programs are designed to keep senior citizens active and engaged in their local communities as they age while also reducing loneliness. The social exclusion of many of these elders lasts for long periods; for those who live alone, it can even last for days.
Once the elders have the support they need, the elderly befriending services may give them or make the appropriate connections for them. To enable befrienders to establish fruitful connections with the elderly and provide them with the skills needed to oversee befriending initiatives, befrienders undergo training before beginning to interact with the elderly person.
What Happens During Befriending?
Although virtually anybody may make a friend of an aged person, a voluntary welfare organisation that primarily offers befriending services for older people has established procedures for doing these activities. Befriending often starts with a chat in which the two people may discuss anything and everything, including your older loved one’s activities of interest, pastimes, and successes.
Along with sharing meals and conversations, befrienders might encourage seniors to try new things to keep them interested. These encounters not only offer comfort to the elderly but also give befrienders a chance to identify areas where a senior’s everyday surroundings may be improved.
Why Sign-up to Be a Befriender?
The entire emotional and psychological well-being of older persons may be enhanced by fostering meaningful relationships through befriending programs, which is immensely beneficial in completing family support with community assistance in their golden years. It is but one of the several ways we may improve seniors’ quality of life in their latter years and eliminate sentiments of social isolation. Indeed, they occasionally only need a friend’s companionship and a listening ear.
How Do Befriending Services Help?
People who might have been socially isolated can get helpful, dependable connections through the befriending service, and the outcomes can be extremely important. Also, a fresh approach to life, access to a wider variety of activities, and a boost in confidence and self-worth are all frequently brought about by making friends. Making friends also ease the strain on other services, like being a caregiver for elderly in Singapore, which individuals can utilize ineffectively while looking for social interaction.
Best Befriending Services in Singapore
Agency for Integrated Care
AIC can help seniors who live independently manage their disability or age-related problems. By assisting them or simply listening to their issues, volunteers from befriending programs can contribute to the mental and emotional wellness of these elderly people. Neighbourhood Links, a volunteer-run community support network, offers befriending services. All of these Neighborhood Links are connected to senior housing emergency alarms.
Bethel Presbyterian Church
Members of Bethel Church and their friends make up the volunteer organization known as All Saints Bethel Befrienders. They make friends with the older inhabitants by engaging in activities like praise dance, hymn singing, karaoke, group games, art and craft projects, etc. They want volunteers to have a fulfilling experience while also bringing compassion and joy to the elderly. They also extend a cordial invitation to anyone—Christian or not—who wishes to lift the spirits of the elderly.
Bethesda Care Centre
These elderly are likely to experience loneliness and dissatisfaction which will lower their quality of life. The Bethesda Care Center’s staff of happy befrienders visits elderly people regularly to offer a sympathetic ear and a helping hand. With them, they develop a relationship that brightens their days. Seniors’ mental, social, and physical well-being will be a priority of the socio-recreational programs and activities that the centre facilitates. The elders’ quality of life is to be enhanced, they are to stay a part of the community, and they are to prevent social isolation.
Elderly who live alone, are weak, and are in danger of social isolation are a common occurrence, as Blossom Seeds found. For this reason, they collaborate with Council for Third Age or the C3A to offer organized befriending programs and psycho-social support via volunteers in the neighbourhood to help older people in need and their caregivers. For socially vulnerable elders, they offer companionship and psychological assistance, holistic treatment by having the elderly visit their facility, and encouragement to give back to society.
Following case evaluations and referrals from healthcare facilities or our partners, the Brahm Centre’s Care Team pairs clients with qualified Brahm Centre volunteers who interact with the latter to offer compassionate befriending. Their volunteers visit befrienders every two weeks, and among the services they offer are talking to or just listening to them, participating in activities or engaging in mentally stimulating endeavours, encouraging them to live a healthy lifestyle, and advocating physical mobility through easy exercises.
Calvary Community Care
Older folks who are lonely might find companionship and psycho-emotional support via the Befriending program at Calvary Community Care. These elderly people will remain socially isolated and in danger of developing depression or physical decline if nothing is done. In addition, when possible volunteers may offer assistance including housecleaning, furniture repair, escorting elders to doctor visits, and grocery shopping with elderly clients who are weak. With weekly home visits, its befriending services reach out to elders over 60 who are less active and socially lonely.
ElderAid by Singapore Red Cross
Their neighbourhood volunteers make befriending house visits once every two weeks to talk to elders about their needs and lessen their vulnerability. The volunteers will assist in directing the elderly to the proper social services if there are unmet requirements. ElderAid provides access to numerous neighbourhood aid programs as well as recognizable Red Cross services like FoodAid, Community FirstAid, and TransportAid. Volunteers from the community also regularly make social calls and organize wellness initiatives for seniors who live alone here.
Filos Community Services
The Filos Active Ageing Center offers a range of programs to help seniors form solid social networks in the neighbourhood and quickly access comprehensive health and social care that enables them to age effectively, productively, and contentedly in their neighbourhood. Programs for befriending solitary elders as well as older citizens who are fragile or have chronic illnesses. Regular home visits and tele-befriending through phone calls from volunteer befrienders help the elderly.
The Health Hub’s befriending programs are designed to boost the community’s older residents’ general mental and emotional health. Seniors who are lonely, isolated, or bored are visited by trained volunteers who serve as befrienders. Through their encounters, befrienders are also able to spot opportunities to enhance the senior’s daily surroundings and offer the appropriate support.
By improving both our social and physical facilities, Lions Befrienders Service Association is keeping our elders holistically involved in today’s shifting elder scene and allowing them to age in place with confidence. Irrespective of a senior’s level of infirmity, kind of residence, or economic level, The Lions Befrienders offer general social and integrated health care. Through oversight, casework supervision, and counselling, they offer social assistance. They provide people who require aid in supporting caregiver responsibilities along with the necessary assistance for vulnerable elders to carry on living effectively at home.
With the help of our Community Befriending Program, Monfort Care firmly believes that seniors may benefit from assistance for their mental and physical health by receiving the gift of a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to weep on. Goodlife!, they do have a sizable number of elderly folks living alone, and the majority of them are alienated from their family members. Befriending frequently gives people an alternative path in life, expands their options for activities, and boosts their self-worth and self-esteem Additionally, making friends might lessen the load on other services that individuals can misuse in their pursuit of social interaction.
In its capacity as a social business, NTUC Health is dedicated to helping elders in need. To this end, it collaborates with both public and private sector partners to provide vulnerable seniors with care and dignity. They work to care for frail elderly people who have barely any family support and make sure they have the means to live securely and on their own at home through a range of assistance services.
REACH Community Services
Each senior is precious and willing to enjoy life to the maximum extent, according to the key values of REACH Senior Service. For all older citizens in their area, they provide a variety of active aging and mental wellness programs. Seniors are invited to attend the Community Café, where they may have a healthy meal and interact with the staff if they are residents. Read our guide, explore alternative options offered at the REACH Senior Center and online, or participate in their craft classes while mastering a new skill.
By pairing Befrienders with lonely elders at SINDA, this organization hopes to prevent them from becoming socially isolated. Any elderly 60 years of age and over who wishes to start or grow a social support network are welcome to participate; there is no financial eligibility requirement for this program.
St. Luke’s Eldercare
They seek to increase awareness and provide the elderly with the tools they need to age gracefully using aging-friendly activities including tailored exercise classes, workshops, nutrition, art, and other pursuits. The AAH cordially invites our community partners’ experience, like that of volunteers, healthcare professionals, and other organizations that share our partnership-led philosophy, to collaborate with us in developing programs for the Bishan community of people aged 50 and over.
TOUCH Community Services
Whether a senior or those with special needs, in need of medical care, or a child, TOUCH believes in the significance and potential of each person to develop, engage, and contribute to society. To improve the quality of life for elders, they provide care. Learn more about their Community Enablement Project, which aims to create a network of people and stakeholders that can serve as resources for the neighbourhood to support elders as they age in place.
There is no stigma in asking for help since there are plenty of individuals in society as a whole who are ready and prepared to provide a helpful hand or listen to our elderly folks. The Care Professionals at RC Caregivers can assist if your seniors would benefit from keeping a caregiver nearby for a company or making periodic check-in visits since they have training and expertise in caring for seniors.