Twenty-five individuals from different towns in Mizoram, Northeastern India, left their hometown in pursuit of a common goal – better lives and job opportunities – in a country they have never been before. That was in 2019.
Two years later, these individuals have grown and changed in more ways than one. From acclimatising to the culture, to overcoming challenges in caring for autistic individuals with varying behavioural issues, they have had their fair share of ups and downs.
Let’s meet Sety and Omomi, two of our care staff from a team comprising persevering individuals who are dedicated to nurturing and caring for our residents at St. Andrew’s Adult Home (Sengkang) [SAAH].
GEM: Going the Extra Mile
While she could have rested in during her hospitalisation leave, the ever-considerate Sety created toothbrush holders out of corrugated boards for each resident, so that they could continue to maintain dental hygiene with proper housekeeping.
“She shows passion in improving the home, so that the residents can enjoy a high quality of life,” says Eve, Resident Manager, when asked of Sety’s work attitude. Making a difference comes naturally to her. Sety even created a work checklist, so that her colleagues in each shift could cross-check and ensure that their duties were duly completed.
Another inspiring care staff is Omomi. Ever illustrious, patient and persevering, Omomi has consistently managed residents with challenging behaviours with the appropriate soft and hard approaches effectively. “She means well for the residents and colleagues, and would work overtime without complaints to assist and resolve issues, instead of passing it to the next shift to manage,” shared Eve.
“As the in-charge of her team, Omomi ensures that her team is supported with adequate care and assistance,” added Eve, who also is the supervisor overseeing the care staff team.
The Angels Have Spoken
The 26-year-old Sety feels humbled and happy to be recognised as making a difference and for going the extra mile in her work. “This acknowledgement does not mean I can stop working hard. I hope the residents can one day be independent, and be engaged in their activities of daily living unassisted,” she reflected.
Thirty-year-old Omomi also shares the very same sentiments, believing that it is important to assist the residents in gaining independence through their daily activities. “They need help. Persons on the autism spectrum may not be able to verbally tell us their requests, but with observation and interaction, you will know what they are gesturing and requesting for through repeated actions. It takes time, but we will get there.”
Thank you, Our Unsung Heroes
While many of us continue to work from home, life continues on for our foreign care staff, whose abode and workplace are one and the same, being in the same residential facility. Despite the restrictions imposed as safeguards to manage the pandemic in Singapore, they have kept their chins up, as they believe that playing their part by staying indoors is essential for the greater benefit in the future.
At SAAH, we are heartened to know that our residents will continue to grow and glow together with their guardian angels in a place they call home – as one big family. The care staff started off as unpolished gems, and have experienced countless setbacks and obstacles to become the sparkling diamonds that they are today, shining bright in our residents’ lives.
For caregivers and staff caring for persons with special needs, Sety has something to share – “It’s not always easy, but for the better lives of our residents under our care, we have to persevere. It’ll be worthwhile.”