Enhancing the Psychological and Social Well-Being of Seniors

Benjamin Yeo, LB’s HOD of Clinical Services.

A social work intern sits fastidiously in a quiet room at LB’s Community Case Management Service (CCMS) office located in Clementi. Across the table, he faces his supervisor, Benjamin. A weekly coaching session begins, as the young intern provides updates on a real- world CCMS case he is working on. Benjamin listens intently. Firm but fair, he then starts to ask the intern a series of probing questions, rigorously challenging the supervisee’s assessments about the case client, and making him think hard about his observations on the client’s physical and emotional responses.

This is just a small snapshot of a day in the life of Benjamin Yeo, who serves as LB’s Assistant Director and Head of Department (HOD) of Clinical Services. With almost two decades of experience in the healthcare, social work and education sectors, the former senior medical social worker and educator currently oversees LB’s CCMS department, which provides complex case management services for elderly clients. He also heads the LB Counselling team, as well as Home Personal Care (HPC) services for vulnerable seniors who require assistance to continue living well at home.

Benjamin sees the services under his leadership as playing an important role in bridging the gap between seniors’ medical nursing care and psycho-social well-being. He says, “The relationship (between these two aspects) is intertwined. Many seniors receive good medical nursing care, but when they are discharged to the community, that care breaks down, because the psychosocial quality is lacking. Their caregivers may be absent, or do not have adequate skills to support them.” Thus, his team also conducts assessments on the carers’ ability, capacity and commitment to dispense their caregiving duties, in order to ensure that the seniors can age in place.

Benjamin’s focus is on further synergizing the CCMS, Counselling and HPC services to enhance how cases are picked up upstream in the community, so that LB can put in earlier interventions for seniors and provide them with the holistic care they deserve.

At the end of an exacting 90-minute session with his supervisee, Benjamin evaluates the social work intern’s performance, then offers suggestions on improving his jargon and social work skills to better help his client, as well as resources for him to read up on before they reconvene in next coaching session. Bit by bit and day by day, Benjamin continues to shape the landscape of LB’s eldercare services, administering guidance for future social work professionals to give seniors in the community the best possible support.

Benjamin (right) supervises a social work intern.