Silver Homes aims to provide a healthy, safe and clean living environment for seniors staying in rental units. The programme seeks to promote both the mental and physical well-being of our seniors through the following initiatives:

  • Home improvement works such as cleaning and painting;
  • Clearing of homes for bed bug fumigation;
  • Installation of energy-efficient light bulbs; and
  • Simple upgrading of furniture.

Joash Tan, 17, a student from Raffles Institution, shares his experience as a volunteer:

How did you get to know about Silver Homes and what attracted you to participate?
I came across Silver Homes when my Track and Field Vice-Captain Gabrielle organised a Community Involvement Project (CIP) for the whole team. Back then, I was interested in participating in a home cleaning CIP, especially one involving elderly beneficiaries.

Any interesting stories to share? 
Personally, this was my first visit to a bed bug-infested home and to be honest, I really did not know what to expect. I was told that a bed bug would find a way to attach itself onto people and follow them home. Therefore, I took extensive precautionary measures to protect myself. However, upon reaching the home, it struck me that Mdm Wong was not taking any precautionary measures against the bed bugs. Moreover, she seemed unfazed by the fact that her home was infested with bed bugs and was really appreciative that we would offer our help to clean her house. Our team found out that 93-year-old Mdm Wong was living with her younger brother, who was hospitalised during the point of our visit. Despite all this, her constant smile and easy-going nature really brought up the fact that most of us live in a sheltered environment and do not know what happens behind these doors unless we are willing to look. Also, every small action counts. For Mdm Wong, even a simple act like bringing food to her seat goes a long way in assisting her. It also taught me to always be content with what you have. Mdm Wong lives in a simple home, with one bed for herself, a few cupboards and a television. Despite this, she is still as jovial as ever and has learnt to enjoy the simple joys in life. Observing Mdm Wong’s attitude towards life really brought a new perspective to my own outlook.

How would you encourage others who want to volunteer, but are unsure of how to start?
Step out of your comfort zone. I know this sounds cliché, but only by doing so would you be able to step into a new environment and gain new insights. Be eager to learn new things, and do not be embarrassed to make mistakes. These home owners are equally nervous as you, especially with strangers stepping into their house and clearing their furniture. So the best is to engage in conversation and learn more about them. It really helps when they know that people genuinely care, which was what really touched me.

Interested organisations or volunteer groups with a minimum of 10-15 individuals may contact the CDC to help spring clean our seniors’ homes or be a befriender.

Contact us:
Mr Benjamin Cheong 
Manager, (Community Programmes)