Such help could prove useful for those like Mr Alvin Gan’s mother, who has schizophrenia and lives with three others in a flat.

Mr Gan said that he used to be her primary caregiver, making sure she took her medications and had proper meals. When he got married and had children of his own, he took her to a day care facility for several years.

“But she didn’t manage to actually make some friends, a long-term friendship,” Mr Gan recounted.

“There was no one taking care of her. When I went to work, the house was empty, only her staying all by herself, and she got very depressed.”

While considering going to a traditional nursing home, he learned about the Red Crowns model.

Staying in a flat with others has allowed her to interact with different people around her age. Mr Gan also said he can visit her anytime.

“Even before she was diagnosed with schizophrenia, there were not a lot of options left for me to look into. Mostly, I had to hire domestic maids to help her to take care, which I think is not the best solution because (the maid was) only able to take care of her in terms of meals and all,” Mr Gan said.

“In the past, she stayed all by herself ever since my dad passed on, so for many years, she was all alone. Emotionally, alone, mentally, she was alone as well.”

Now, Mr Gan said she has become the “youngest sister” in her flat and gets support from the other seniors.

“She opened up quite a lot. She’s more open and more cheerful than before,” he added.


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