Confronting death with pets, music and good hair
What can you do for someone who has less than three months to live?
Those who volunteer with Dover Park Hospice (DPH) come face to face with this question on a regular basis.
Sounds grim, but would you believe that it's not?
The volunteers are a diverse and active bunch.
One group takes those who are able on outings every week, making sure to take lots of photos while they're at it.
They spread happiness with a smile, a song, a touch. It doesn't take much, and yet it means a lot to the patients, judging by their responses.
Their focus is on helping the residents to live as fully as they can, in the time they have left.
Many of the volunteers at the non-profit hospice in Singapore have been involved for a while, some for years.
There's a perception that many younger people don't see the value in giving their time to something that they may assume would be quite grim and confronting.
What I found in my time telling this story is that it isn't grim at all.
The hospice itself has open-air hallways flooded with natural light, a lovely pond with fish and a wooden bridge to watch them from, and large rooms opening onto lush greenery.
It's peaceful, quiet, and dignified.
And the volunteers, from what I could see, spend their time being happy, and making others happy.
There are many ways to bring joy to the patients of Dover Park Hospice, including through music, gardening, pet-assisted therapy with dogs or rabbits, befriending, grooming, helping with celebrations, offering administrative and logistical support, transport or massage. Sign up here or find out more at http://www.doverpark.org.sg/.