Published on 13 Feb 2023
Sharing the same passion for eldercare, two couples Sharon Casugo Casillan, 40, Team Leader, Home Care and Aldwin Casillan Tan, 41, Senior Care Associate, Home Personal Care as well as Naldoza Jan Figueroa, 32, and Magtoles Hanna Mae Mondejar, 31, both Nursing Aides, joined NTUC Health together. Let’s hear more from them!
Sharon shares that taking care of the seniors has taught them that they need to support each other through thick and thin. If Aldwin has had a bad day or is tired from work, she would usually cook his favourite dish, Sizzling Pork Sisig. She adds, “Food is my nourishment for his soul and body and my way of saying I'm here for him.”
Through her work, Sharon also realises that seniors look forward to their children’s visits and support. “When we get to this age, we hope to keep our family close-knitted. Taking care of our seniors has made me realised that it is important to have constant communication with your spouse and loved ones.” Sharon is also grateful to her parents, as they are taking care of her three children in The Philippines at the moment. “I have the support of my parents and without them, it was almost impossible for us to come to Singapore. Coming here to work helps give them a better life and I have no regrets,” adds Sharon.
Sharon and Aldwin met in 2002. They met at an internship orientation, during their college days in The Philippines. Both of them had studied Bachelor of Science in Nursing, for 4 years, in different schools. Aldwin came to Singapore for work in 2005 and joined NTUC Health in 2016. Later, Sharon joined him in Singapore in 2008 and joined NTUC Health in 2013.
For Jan and his wife, Hanna, as they work different shifts, they find it important to maintain communication and update each other. They practice calling and updating each other right after their shifts end. On coping with different shifts, he shares, “If I am on duty and my wife is off, she would do the house chores and prepare our meals. Sometimes if I am on morning shift and my wife is on evening shift, I would go and fetch her so that we can spend more time together.”
Taking care of seniors has made Jan and his wife think about their future as seniors. They are reminded that they should take care of their health and would strive to maintain work-life balance and a healthy lifestyle. So on their rest day, they would cycle and explore key places of interest, like the Botanical Gardens, Universal Studios, East Coast Park, Sentosa and even head out to Johor Bahru. Sharon and Aldwin share the same thought and make an effort to jog during the weekends.
Working in the same organisation can be a boon and a bane. For both couples, they can talk about their work after work hours. This helps them with combating loneliness especially since they are foreigners and may work on different shifts. On sharing the difficulties regarding their jobs with each other, Sharon shares that, “at the end of the day, we are just doing our part, in our area of work. We also make sure that we do not get angry and talk it through before we rest.”
Operations are also easier, if for instance colleagues are unable to reach Aldwin, as he is out serving a client, they can reach out to Sharon. Jan and Hanna share that taking leave to spend time together for a day or two can also be an option.
Jan shares that apart from coping with different shifts, sometimes coordination may still be needed if they work the same shift. Jan shares an incident that happened last year, “It was the day before our rest day, we were both working the morning shift and would be meeting after our shift. Our shift usually ends at 2.30pm. As my ward duties were still on-going, I failed to check out at 2.30pm. I also did not check my phone and focused on my duties. Hanna waited for me at the ground level for close to an hour.”
Nonetheless, Jan agrees that working at the same place can strengthen their bond because they can go to work together and leave work together when they are deployed on the same shift. They can also help each other in our preparation for work, such as laundering and ironing their clothes and uniforms.
Jan and Hanna are both nursing aides at Nursing Home (Jurong West) and had held their wedding ceremony at JWNH back in September 2022. “We feel it's our second home already and we feel that people around are very supportive.” For their ceremony, staff had helped to cook the food and decorate the hall. They met in Saudi Arabia and knew each other for more than five years before they decided to join NTUC Health together. They have been working in NTUC Health for close to a year.
Jan and Hanna were featured by The Straits Times Online. Click here to read more about them.
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