Karen Chua
Agency for Integrated Care

Clinton* was referred to the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC)’s Community Case Management Service (CCMS) Team for follow-up action and support. He was previously known to AIC due to his unsuitability for the THK Senior Group Home initiative.

At the first meeting, Clinton appeared generally unkempt and dishevelled. Due to the warts on his fingers, he faced difficulties in finding employment. Thus, he had to be extremely frugal and kept a close eye on every dollar spent. He also came across as unmotivated and aimless in life. Clinton was not compliant with his medication regime and had little social support. Spending all his time alone, he had a strained relationship with his only sibling and did not have any friends. Living on his own in an interim housing arrangement, the bachelor was in dire financial straits as he owed the Housing Development Board (HDB) a large amount in rent arrears.

Despite the challenges he faced, Clinton was both amiable and chatty. He was happy to share his life experiences and anecdotes. He remained optimistic in the face of possible eviction from his current living quarters.

Simple pleasures in life included spending a day at the library. He was a voracious reader who enjoyed acquiring general knowledge.

Knowing that perpetual unemployment was not an option, Clinton was open and motivated in carrying out the advice we gave him to improve his employability. As first impressions count, we helped Clinton understand the importance of improving his level of self-care and maintaining good personal hygiene. He was also amenable to adhering to his medication regime and keeping up with his medical appointments. These were contributing factors which would increase the likelihood of him securing a job.

Today, we are very proud of how far Clinton has come. He has successfully secured full-time employment as a cleaner and takes home a pay packet larger than his previous one. HDB has worked out a scheme for him where his outstanding rent arrears have been lowered, and arranged for him to live in a one-room rental flat.

It is extremely heartening to see how Clinton has turned around a difficult situation and emerged the better for it. Sometimes, all the CCMS team has to do is to empower the clients to become better versions of themselves, so that they can go on to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Key Learning Points:

  1. Take time to listen to the client, identify the areas in which they need the most support, and come up with an action plan together to turn challenges into opportunities.
  2. Help clients maintain their dignity and independence as much as possible.
  3. Gently impress upon them the importance of adhering to their medication regime as it has far-reaching consequences in their everyday lives.