Bringing festive joy to the seniors at St Theresa’s Home

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StewardshipCommunity

25 December 2018

Bringing festive joy to the seniors at St Theresa’s Home

Leading Singapore boutique firm TSMP Law Corporation held a Christmas party complete with games, gifts, art and sing-along songs for some 200 residents of St Theresa’s Home on Monday, 17 December 2018

Cover photo credit: TSMP Law Corporation

The excellent care provided for the poor and destitute elderly at St Theresa’s Home was first highlighted to TSMP through its internal community network. TSMP also recognised that the Home is a very worthy charity that is under-funded. Additionally, many of the older generation folks in the Home, who may feel lonely in their silver years, yearn to partake in festivities during the holiday season. For these reasons, TSMP partnered with the Home to design a program that addressed a real need in the community at this time of year.

As part of a strategic charity initiative under TSMP’s Handprint community outreach programme, about 40 lawyers and employees from the firm turned on their out-of-office email notices to join forces with the staff from the Home to create for the residents a Christmas to remember.

A particularly well-received activity at the event was the “Passing the Parcel” game, a static musical-chair game of sorts designed for gifting. A bundle of 10 gifts wrapped up in successive layers of bright wrapping paper was passed around by the residents while Christmas-themed music was being played. The delighted resident holding on to the bundle when the music stopped got to unwrap the bundle and keep the gift in that layer. The game repeated until the “top prize” at the core of the parcel was claimed to much applause.

For a more hands-on activity, TSMP staff collaborated with the residents in creating festive-themed art using strings and pegs. This provided a chance for deeper interaction with the elderly, and in fact proved more challenging for some of the artistically challenged TSMPers than the seniors they were supposed to help! For the 150 bed-bound residents unable to join the activities, TSMP staff visited them at their wards to talk to them, hear their stories and give out goodie bags just to share some good cheer.

The wonderful morning wrapped up with a buffet lunch with a live noodle cooking station and a sing-along session where Christmas carols and other old favourites in multiple languages such as Silent Night, Feliz Navidad, 月亮代表我的心 and Take Me Home, Country Roads drew out hitherto reticent crooners in full force and voice.

“It is heartwarming indeed to see the elderly at St Theresa’s Home celebrate life so joyously during this festive season, and we are honoured to have had enjoyed the company of the lovely residents who took time to share with us a wealth of stories and life lessons as well,” said TSMP partner Ian Lim, who oversees the firm’s Community Programmes. “There is a great deal we can and should learn from our seniors who have literally seen it all.”

TSMP lawyers and staff planned and organised the event, providing materials, gifts, goodie bags and handling lunch and logistics. As part of its outreach programme, TSMP organises and participates in two community charity events a year under its Handprint series, aiming to benefit at-risk children and youth, foreign workers and the elderly.

Earlier this year, TSMP ran a digital clinic outing at Kallang Wave Mall for 34 seniors from the Tembusu Senior Activity Centre to equip them for the digital age. Previously, it partnered with Tasek Jurong Limited to organise an educational and fun-filled “Amazing Race”-style trail around Singapore’s Civic District to bring joy to some 50 socially disadvantaged children and youth and acquaint them with Singapore’s cultural and historical heritage.

Under the umbrella organisation of Catholic Welfare Services, St Theresa’s Home is a nursing home built on a foundation of Christian values of love and care for others, especially for those less fortunate in our society. It aims to create a cheery and familial home for the elderly and aged sick, a place where they can live out their golden years or recuperate sufficiently from their illnesses to be able to return to their loved ones. St Theresa’s Home is licensed by the Ministry of Health, Singapore with a capacity for 200 residents. Most of its residents are discharged from re-structured hospitals.