Simulated community and street environment like pedestrian crossings, walkways and life-size models of public transportation—an MRT train cabin, bus and taxi— to prepare patients, the elderly and people with special needs, to reintegrate back into the community after discharge from the hospital
Set in an open garden within the integrated healthcare hub comprising Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Jurong Community Hospital (JCH), the JurongHealth Mobility Park is purpose-built next to JCH’s indoor rehabilitative facility as part of its holistic care. Officially opened today by Ms Low Yen Ling, Mayor for the South West Community Development Council, the park boasts features such as simulated home and community environments for physical rehabilitation which will be used to prepare patients for their discharge, and to help them regain their confidence in moving and getting around.
The 953 square metre JurongHealth Mobility Park breaks away from the confines of a typical indoor rehabilitation centre, simulating real life street environments like pedestrian crossings, walkways with different surfaces, ramps, steps and road-side curbs. The park also includes a sensory garden with herbs and plants, specially designed for patients on wheelchairs, to come up close with nature as part of the outdoor rehabilitative process to heighten patients’ sense of touch, feel and smell.
The JurongHealth Mobility Park is also a first of its kind in Singapore to feature life-size public transportation models in the form of a decommissioned taxi, a low-floor bus mock-up and an MRT train mock-up, all of which were sponsored by multi-modal public transport operator SMRT Corporation Ltd.
Mr Foo Hee Jug, CEO, JurongHealth, said: “The JurongHealth Mobility Park is another important piece that will transform the way rehabilitation is conducted in a healthcare setting. Going back to the community after discharge from the hospital can be an unnerving experience for some. We want our patients to regain not just their mobility but also their confidence when they return home so that they can ease back into their daily routine. Caregivers play very important roles in the rehabilitation and recovery process of our patients and we want to also provide the caregivers with a lifelike environment where they can learn to confidently assist their dependents in manoeuvring barriers and moving around.”
Bringing together mobility and transportation
Sharing the same mission of enabling and empowering mobility, SMRT sponsored the vehicle models and helped ensure that details of their appointment – such as station platform gaps - mirror real-life settings. They are also complete with safety features such as wheelchair spaces and emergency communication buttons, which healthcare workers can highlight to patients as they guide them to expand their range of mobility and learn the use of public transportation and road safety with assistive aids such as walking frames, crutches or wheelchairs.
SMRT President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Desmond Kuek, said: “We are proud of the partnership we have had with JurongHealth over the past three years. SMRT is always looking for ways to support and give back to the community that we serve every day. Time spent at this park will prepare patients to adjust more quickly to using public transportation after an extended illness, accident or surgery, and we look forward to them resuming their daily activities with family and friends.”
With the aging population in Singapore, many measures are already well in place to make public transport and its infrastructures more elderly and wheelchair friendly. As part of this collaboration, JurongHealth and SMRT have organised learning and sharing sessions amongst staff from both organisations so that they may help patients and commuters in need of assistance to make the necessary adjustments and feel more confident when using public transportation.
Please refer to the annex for more information.