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How nursing homes foster a sense of community

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Caregivers Support, Caregiving

Other than the care that seniors receive, nursing homes are also a place for the residents to socialise, partake in activities together and ultimately forming a community where one can call their own. Nursing homes in Singapore recognise this and are actively trying to foster a sense of community through the built environment and also planned activities. Here, we break down how nursing homes foster a sense of community which can probably help you in making a decision on whether you should let your loved ones live in a nursing home or not.

How nursing homes foster a sense of community
Shared spaces

Shared spaces, such as lounges, gardens, and dining areas allow for seniors to gather and socialise. These common spaces are built with the purpose of encouraging interaction by providing a comfortable and homely environment where nursing home residents can best enjoy. Nursing homes might also organise social events and activities in these spaces

For example, to encourage residents to cook for themselves and fellow residents, NTUC Healthcare which has six nursing homes in Singapore, began a pilot programme in 2022 to encourage residents to cook their favourite meals at mobile cooking stations if they wished to. Knowing that the Lunar New Year period might be tough for some who do not have family members to celebrate with, NTUC Healthcare hopes the seniors can step up and recreate the familial relationship in the nursing home. 


Partakes in activities together

Nursing homes often provide a diverse range of group activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities.

For example at Ren Ci nursing home, they have Art Therapy facilitated by Art Therapists. Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses visual arts as its primary mode of expression. Through Art Therapy, individuals are supported in their creative process, within a therapeutic relationship, to improve their psychosocial and socio-emotional well-being. 

Through common interests and shared spaces, seniors can now share their passion, skills with like minded individuals, allowing them to better bond with peers and forge meaningful friendships. For those who do not have a strong family support system, this can help them build their own community in the nursing home. 


Volunteer programs

Nursing homes are constantly on the lookout for volunteers to befriend the seniors living in the nursing homes. Volunteers may be student groups, working adults, religious organisations, pet therapists or community help groups. Some types of volunteering activities include resident social outings where volunteers assist seniors at social outings and also the befriending activities such as playing cards and board games.



Through a community fostered in the nursing home, it allows seniors to remain socially connected, emotionally fulfilled and eventually enhancing their quality of life. 

  • Personal growth: Personal growth is a process of both understanding yourself and pushing yourself to reach your highest potential. Through the process of partaking in activities and knowledge sharing, it’s a great avenue for personal development
  • Reduce social isolation: Social isolation is a common problem amongst seniors who live alone or are unable to leave their home due to mobility issues. In nursing homes, there is a community in-situ which reduces the occurrences of social isolation
  • Learning new skills: Through the programs and activities for seniors in the nursing homes, it provides a safe and convenient avenue for one to pick up new skills



The importance of community camaraderie in nursing homes are not to be underestimated. It has the power to combat social isolation, improve emotional as well as physical well-being. Through the experience in nursing homes, this can better the lives of seniors and encourage meaningful social interactions.

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About Growing Needs

Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.

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