Monthly Archives: January 2015

ACG organising Heart2Heart workshop in Sungai Long

THE Aged Care Group (ACG) is organising a Heart2Heart workshop to address the physical, emotional and social needs of the elderly.

The workshop will cover:

  • Tips to Prevent Fall Risk, Enhance Stability and Physical Assistance Techniques by Lian Yun-Perng of Synapse Physiotherapy
  • Creative Ways to Care for Elder’s Emotional Needs by Lim Suat Ping of ACG
  • Tips to Enhance Family Bonding by Lim Suat Ping of ACG

The workshop will be held on Saturday, Feb 7, 2015, from 10am-1pm at the Sungai Long Medical Centre (SLMC).

Targeted at the elderly and family members taking care of them, the Heart2Heart workshop is open to the public and admission is free.

Participants will receive a goodie bag, and light refreshments will be served.

Participants can expect an interactive workshop with hands-on learning.

To register, call (010) 213-5023 or send the following SMS to the same number:


For general enquiries, call (03) 9010-3788 ext 216.

The workshop is one of the events organised by ACG as part of its Circles Care Hub initiative.

Circles will concentrate on the five areas of wellness:

  • Social;
  • Mental;
  • Physical;
  • Emotional; and
  • Financial.

Circles will be a meeting place for the elderly – those who are indendent as well as those requiring care and supervision.

It will offer care as well as awareness programmes, activities and events – all targeted to help enrich the lives of the elderly and rejuvenate and energise them to live their best life.

Holistic approach to elderly healthcare

HEALTHCARE for the elderly can no longer be viewed in silos; the time has come to take care of the elderly in a more comprehensive and holistic manner.

It is no longer about just taking care of the physical aspect and disregarding the emotional and mental side of things. Similarly, elder care doesn’t start and end in the hospital. There needs to be continuity.

“Nowadays we have to look at aged care on a more global basis; continuity of care is extremely important. There’s too much emphasis on acute care and not enough emphasis on preventive and followup care and step-down care,” said Tan Sri Dr Ridzwan Bakar, cardiologist and former CEO and chairman of Pantai Holdings.

With the increasing number of elderly and about 35% of the population expected to be over 60 years old by the year 2020, Dr Ridzwan believes it is high time healthcare providers started looking at continuum care.

“From my experience in the hospital, I can see a great need and necessity for after-care. Quite often, some patients pay high rates just to stay on in private hospitals when actually they don’t need to, provided there are step-down facilities where they can rehabilitate from home,” he added.

Treatment options

Marc Daniel, chartered physiotherapist and director at Synapse Physiotherapy, who has been in the business for about 18 years, said that there is a high demand for allied healthcare options like physiotherapy.

However, very often families do not know where to go and who to go to.

“Of course, the public is also confused by all the various therapies. We are still a developing nation and the mentality needs to be developed.

“Getting the right therapy from the right therapist comes down to awareness and education. The people need to be aware of those services, and that it’s not just nursing homes,” said Daniel, who was at the Aged Care Group (ACG) Partner Appreciation Dinner.

These services and options don’t just consist of what is available in western medicine. In Malaysia, we also have access to traditional and alternative options.

Prof Dr Cheong Soon-Keng, Dean of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, believes that Chinese medicine should not be overlooked.

Chinese medicine plays an important role in elderly care. A great majority of the world’s population believes that Chinese herbal treatments can improve health and boost our immune system,” he said.

Dr Cheong believes that traditional Chinese medicine has earned wide recognition, adding that even though those of other races have their own traditional medicine, they are still very interested in Chinese medicine.

However, many elderly and their families are still at a loss as to where to go.

Dr Ridzwan believes that while doctors can recommend healthcare service providers like homes and service providers for the elderly, there firstly needs to be proper facilities.

Housing needs

Datuk Dr Soon Ting Kueh, president of the National Council of Senior Citizens Organisations Malaysia (Nascom) believes that there is an urgent need to look into housing for the elderly.

According to him, many Malaysian homes are not aged-friendly, with slippery bathroom floors, stairs and dark corners.

“Recent trends show that there is a lack of appreciation for family values, and many children refuse to look after their parents. We should be prepared to tackle issues with regards to the ageing population,” he added.

Ishmael Ho of Ho Chin Soon Research pointed out that it is important to cater to the elderly population when creating living spaces.

He believes that there should be more awareness about creating a living environment suitable for the older generation, so that property developers can work towards it when undertaking township development projects.

Admitting that more needs to be done, Ng Yiek Seng, principal of Veritas Architects, said many architecture designs are not tailored for the ageing community.

In the past, many designers have taken these elements into consideration when designing buildings but this move did not really win the public’s approval. Fortunately, people have begun to learn and accept their importance,” said Ng.

Addressing the need for convenience over aesthetics, he added, “When designing a product, we should take its practical use and flexibility into account, instead of its appearance.”

Government support

While there is general acknowledgement of the growing needs of the elderly population, not many are prepared to invest in this market.

According to Khoo Chuan Keat, senior executive director at PricewaterhouseCoopers Taxation Services, many investors avoid going into the elder care industry because they think it may not be lucrative.

He believes the industry faces stiff competition from hospitals, which have relatively more resources and are eligible for tax incentives. On the contrary, establishing a legal Integrated Residential Care Centre (IRCC) is a complicated process with lots of terms and conditions.

Should the government offer tax incentives, more investors would be encouraged to be a part of the senior care industry. This new industry needs greater support from more people,” he said.

The law

With the growing number of aged and the increasing demand for services in the aged care industry, there is also an urgency for proper legislation.

Understandably, everyone involved in the aged care industry is excited about the impending Aged Healthcare Act which is expected to be tabled in Parliament this year.

Dr Ridzwan said it is timely and a step in the right direction. In fact, it shows that the government is becoming more aware of taking care of senior citizens.

Also welcoming the Aged Healthcare Act, Raphael Tay, partner in the Chooi & Company legal firm, believes that everything is coming together at the right time. However, he thinks the legal framework in Malaysia needs to be refined.

“There are lots of areas and pockets where there are gaps that need to be filled and I think legislation must be put into place to cater to those needs. Having said that, the actual legal framework that we have, generally speaking is sufficient, however it needs to be enhanced. I think it is something we can learn from many of our neighbouring countries that have looked into some of these things.

“Laws are important and enforcement is equally important. I think that’s applicable in any society. Without good, consistent enforcement, the best laws in the world are meaningless. It’s not just the enforcement, because enforcement connotes, denotes and suggests that you’re reprimanding someone because he has made a mistake or erred or breached a law. I think equally important is education; we need to educate people on why these laws are there, why it is good for society and we should all co-operate in trying to maintain and adhere to the law,” said Tay.

His advice to operators going into the aged care business is that they should not look at it merely as a business.

“It is far more than that. I think you must believe and subscribe to the principles of a better society, a caring society …. If you are in it for the short haul, just because it’s a lucrative market, then I think you will not be able to sustain and maintain that, and it will in fact destroy what is inherently good because the emphasis of where you’re coming from is totally wrong.

“At the end of the day, of course, we all want to make money, but in the first place, why are you in it? Is it because you believe in it? Is it because you believe there is a need to look after the aged of our society?

“I think it’s important even for aged care operators to ask themselves why they do what they do.

“In whatever you do, it must be for the right reasons. You must do the right thing for the right reasons, with the right attitude. That philosophy must also be subscribed by aged care givers,” said Tay.

Coming together for Orang Asli Flood Victims Donation Drive

THE prolonged flood has destroyed the homes of many Orang Asli communities in the country. The affected families are running out of food and have no shelter.

Some of these Orang Asli communities are the hardest hit because they live in secluded and isolated areas which have been cut off by the floods.

In view of this, the Aged Care Group (ACG) and six NGOs, namely the PJ Kwan Inn Teng Foundation, Best Wishes Cultural Centre, Fo Guang Shan Malaysia, Christian Grace Church, Archdiocesan Chinese Language Apostolate Commission, Kuala Lumpur, and Persatuan Pengajian Agama Chi Hui Tang, Kuala Lumpur, came together today to initiate the “Orang Asli Flood Victims Donation Drive”.

The collaborative effort, initiated by Best Wishes, seeks to kick off more flood relief efforts and unite Malaysians in extending help to the Orang Asli communities in the secluded areas.

This is the second time the Orang Asli Flood Victims Donation Drive was held. The first donation drive was initiated by the PJ Kwan Inn Teng Foundation, Best Wishes Cultural Centre and ACG.

The first donation drive received strong support from the public, with more than 10 tonnes of flood relief goods and RM100,000 donation collected. Persatuan Pengajian Agama Chi Hui Tang, Kuala Lumpur, also participated in the programme by donating 3 tons of flood relief goods.

Part of the donations have been distributed to the affected Orang Asli communities in Jerantut, Temerloh and Kuantan.

Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, who was on hand to lend her support and voice to the donation drive this morning, said, “I feel very blessed that I am able to participate in this meaningful programme. It is so heartwarming to see Malaysians unite to extend a helping hand to each other to ride through this difficult time. I pray for everyone and for the flood issue to be over very soon. Homes will be rebuilt soon.”

The flood relief team, led by Siew Nyoe Chow, chief editor of Best Wishes Cultural Centre, will be sending the goods via two lorries and a 4×4 to the Raub Orang Asli Assistance Centre and the Bentong Orang Asli Training Centre. The centres will then distribute the items to 34 Orang Asli communities in Kelantan and Pahang.

The affected Orang Asli communities are in need of rice, sugar, canned food, cooking oil and chocolate malt drinks like Milo and Vico.

Those who want to contribute, may do so by sending their donations (items listed above) to Wisma Mirama (ground floor), Jalan Wisma Putra, Kuala Lumpur, on Jan 17 and 18, 2015, from 10am-5pm.

For more information, call (03) 2144-7733 or go to or

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