Committing to Community

The Tsao Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of older persons in an inclusive society that can embrace both the challenges and opportunities of population ageing. Our community-based programmes and services give older people access to quality integrated medical and pycho-social care in their homes and communities. Our scholarly research as well as dialogue and collaboration with community, academia and public service agencies address critical population ageing issues at both national and policy levels; and our professional and community training and education programmes empower eldercare colleagues, older persons, caregivers and the public with practical help and knowledge.

We have a strong belief that older people - regardless of their conditions- are capable of leading a full life provided that they have access to sufficient care and support, and are given opportunities to participate in mainstream society.

We began our work in 1993 and since then have developed innovative and duplicable care models for community-based aged care services. We are among the earliest champion for ageing in place - a long term eldercare proposition for optimal well-being and resource utilization in the community. Below are some of our major achievements for the past 19 years:

In 1993, we launched Singapore’s first team-managed primary healthcare care service for home-bound and at risk elders – the Hua Mei Mobile Clinic. It now includes an end-of-life care practice.
In 1995, we set up a training centre dedicated to raising professional skills in community aged care, and empowering older people, caregivers and volunteers with essential information and skills. We were the first to develop eldercare training courses. In 2008, this training centre was transformed into Hua Mei Training Academy with a CET accreditation from WDA.
In 1995, we initiated an Experts’ Series programme, the first platform for bringing together international experts and distinguished scholars on policy issues related to ageing in Singapore. Some of the distinguished scholars we have invited include Dr. Robert N. Butler (US), Dr. James Birren (US), Her Baroness Sally Greengross (UK), to name a few.
In 1996, we set up the Hua Mei Acupuncture and TCM Centre, which offers Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment of acute and chronic conditions that adheres to World Health Organization (WHO) standards.
In 1996, we opened the Hua Mei Seniors’ Clinic, which was a WHO pilot site for developing an aged-friendly primary healthcare clinic, and which provides health management over the life course for adults aged 40 and above.
In 1998, we started the Hua Mei Care Management Service, a pilot project in Singapore uniquely employing a team of nursing and social work-trained case managers to set up care systems for frail and at-risk older persons.
In 2006, we established in cooperation with the Singapore Council of Women’s Organization (SCWO) the first drop in centre for older women, called WINGS or Women’s Initiative for Ageing Successfully.
In 2009, we formally launched the Hua Mei Centre for Successful Ageing (HMCSA), which is an integrated collective of the various community aged care service models that we have pioneered since 1993.
In 2009, we started the Coaching & Counseling programme targeting older persons who are depressed and caregivers who are stressed and need emotional support.
In 2009, we established the Tsao Foundation Ageing Research Initiative in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at NUS to spearhead our foray into research on ageing.
In 2010, we played an instrumental role in the development of a medical record system for community health services (IngoT).
In 2011, we launched the International Longevity Centre Singapore, which grew from the Foundation’s Interagency Collaboration Division and seeks to expand its predecessor’s work in policy support through undertaking research and stakeholder platforms.
In the same year, we launched SCOPE or the Self Care on Health of Older People in Singapore, which seeks to increase the understanding and ability of mildly disabled and healthy older persons to care for themselves. Its effectiveness is the subject of a randomized control trial.
In 2011, WECARE (Working to enhance the care and resilience of elders) was launched to demonstrate (through a randomized control trial) that with appropriate intervention and support, elders at risk can optimize their functional and cognitive potential to remain independent and age well in the community.
In 2011, we launched EPICC - a team-managed, centre-based integrated healthcare service for frail and at-risk elders, giving them an alternative option to nursing home care. Modelled on the American PACE, it is a 36-month demonstration project with a randomized control trail to test its effectiveness in achieving a set of health and social-psycho outcomes.