1. Harris, Marilyn D. MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

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I know what it is to grow old, and I feel deeply and desperation of those who face old age alone, who cannot get to a doctor and whose families cannot or do not know how to care for them. The pain of poor health Is so much worse when you are old and frail.


One visionary in Singapore, Madam Tsao Ng Yu Shun, who is quoted above, founded the Tsao Foundation in 1993 at the age of 84 in honor of her father and father-in-law to enhance the quality of life of the older person. The Tsao Foundation started with Singapore's first team-managed primary healthcare service for homebound and at-risk elders-the Hua Mei Mobile Clinic. It is now part of the Hua Mei Centre for Successful Ageing and includes an end-of-life care practice. For the past 27 years, the Foundation has committed itself to advance a positive transformation of the aging experience, through seeking mindset and systemic change through innovation in community-based eldercare, training and education, policy-relevant research, collaboration, and advocacy. This multipronged approach is driven by the following four synergistic core initiatives:


1. Hua Mei Centre for Successful Ageing (HMCSA)-a one-stop, first-stop primary healthcare provider to adults aged 40 and above living in the community. Person-centered integrated medical and psychosocial healthcare across the life course is practiced, enabling ageing in place and in community.


2. International Longevity Centre-Singapore-the Singapore chapter of the prestigious International Longevity Center Global Alliance. It supports practice, policy, and community development through initiating multisector collaborations and policy-related research as well as elder empowerment and participates programs.


3. The Hua Mei Training Academy-a dedicated provider of training in community-based eldercare, supporting the urgent need for capacity building in the service sector. In addition to professional courses, education and training to the general public are offered to optimize the benefits of longevity and support aging in place. The Academy launched the Community Gerontological Nursing Certificate-the first of in-house developed, practitioner-to-practitioner training courses that is endorsed by the Singapore Nursing Board. This course has now been developed into the Specialist Diploma in Community Gerontology Nursing, in collaboration with one of the local polytechnics, to advance the skills and knowledge of practicing nurses.


4. Community for Successful Ageing-a ground-breaking community-wide, ground-up approach to forge an integrated system of comprehensive programs, services and enabling environments with the aim to promote health, well-being, personal growth, and participation over the life course, and to build vibrant communities where all ages thrive.



"Longevity is Opportunity" is the tagline adopted when the Foundation marked its 20th Anniversary with renewed commitment to act on transforming ageing.


Fong Yoke Hiong, MSc, is the Assistant Director of Nursing at the Tsao Foundation and Vice President of the International Home Care Nurses Organization (IHCNO). In 2019, Barbara Piskor, President of IHCNO and I, Treasurer of IHCNO, had the opportunity to visit Fong and the staff at the Tsao Foundation, observe some of the services, and meet home care nurses from other home care and hospice organizations in Singapore. I invite you to visit for detailed information on the extent of the Foundation's health services and educational programs available for older individuals in Singapore.