In Singapore’s ageing society, support for our geriatric population is an issue that requires constant attention. But healthy ageing aside, we also need to talk about helping our elderly live out their last years in the comfort of their own homes.
In 2014, the Lien Foundation found that 77% Singaporeans preferred to die at home, but only 27% actually did. Elderly members feared that they would become a burden on family members, and also shared worries on finances.
As such, palliative care in “home hospices” has become increasingly well-received, where professionals look after terminally ill patients in their own homes.
Unfortunately, these services come at a cost, and that is something local startup Jaga-Me seeks to resolve.
Project Going Home
Project Going Home is a fund-raising project initiated by the Jaga-Me team to provide 20 terminally ill patients with home palliative care. The nurses are all trained professionals from Singapore’s largest hospice HCA Hospice Care.
Their goal is to raise S$10,000, which will then be matched 1-for-1 by Singtel.
“Financing is a huge factor in healthcare, and one that relies heavily on government, insurer or charity subsidies,” Jaga-Me’s Julian Koo shares, and “not all of our patients’ home care needs are subsidised.”
Through crowdfunding, Jaga-Me hopes to tap onto “the collective philanthropy of our community [so as to] enable access to quality healthcare at home, and to enable communities to care.”
Jaga-Me has been working alongside HCA since September 2016 to take care of young palliative patients. It was since back then that Mr. Chong Poh Heng, medical director of HCA, shared that he saw “potential to expand the partnership with Jaga-Me to help HCA’s adult patients.”
“Particularly when the patients are dying, you don’t want caregivers to be preoccupied with care. They should be able to connect with their loved ones instead,” Dr Chong told The Straits Times.
Support In Partners
On the potential of partnering with fellow healthcare startup Homage, Koo shares that while the Homage team found great success in funding, the Jaga-Me team was more “wary of raising such money too early as it comes with investor expectations to grow rapidly”.
“We definitely did not want to grow as such at the expense of social impact to the needy, or at the expense of quality care,” he reflects.
Instead, Jaga-Me partners raiSE, NTUC Income and SPRING Singapore, and in this case, Singtel for support, knowing that they share the team’s business and social goals.
As of the moment, the two teams are raising funds to support 20 patients, but Koo states that they definitely have future goals to scale their efforts.
“Our nursing team has worked hard to establish Jaga-Me as one of the top 5 home care providers in Asia [and] our goal is to scale this impact. Our goal is to build on this focus on quality to continue enabling the delivery of quality care to homes!”
The fund-raising campaign will conclude in mid-April, so if you are interested to support the cause, you can visit the site here.
Check out Jaga-Me’s Facebook page for more information on their journey!
Featured Image Credit: Jaga-Me