8th August 2017

A Positive Tale of Finding Strength through Heartwarming Support in Unusual Times

Jyoti & Papa

Jyoti never thought that she would be able to manage taking care of her father who was recovering from a massive stroke that left his dominant right side paralyzed and lost him his speech while having to juggle her writing career, teaching yoga and running a home.  To her, there was just so much on her plate that she feared she wouldn’t be able to do justice to any more demands on her attention. Yet, she wasn’t going to let any of this lower her commitment to bringing her dad across the ocean and she started to look for ideas and support on the internet.

She was searching for an understanding ear, and genuine care that would be as natural and as sincere as an extension of her own.


Was it Possible to find Practical Yet Loving Care in Singapore?

Jyoti’s father is a retired Colonel from the Indian Army who lived an independent life as a widower after his retirement. He had taken on advisory responsibility at a local temple in Delhi and visited Jyoti in Singapore often over the years.

Back in India, as a little girl and later as a young woman, Jyoti remembers spending hours on end pouring her heart out to her dad, sharing with him her happiness and woes, and her dad would lend his listening ear as well as share his happiness and woes in turn. It was a special bond they shared.

Jyoti the writer

Jyoti writes for many organisations in Singapore. She also publishes some of her own books relating to the history of Singapore. Credits: Jerold Lee

Fast-forward to 2017- Jyoti has been living in Singapore since 2006, finding her space as a writer and yoga instructor here. She has made an impact with her books exploring Singapore’s heritage and nature, as well as through the well-loved classes she conducts that encourage personal exploration.

Now, faced with this challenge of papa’s recovery after stroke, Jyoti went back and forth between India and Singapore for some months till she decided to bring him to Singapore to help his recovery and care for him here. It seemed like an impossible task and though Jyoti was determined to make it happen, she knew it couldn’t be done on her own.

That’s when her search on the internet threw up Coddle.


“It Was a Leap of Faith”

“I tried reaching out to many other services prior to Coddle, but they were all too clinical,” says Jyoti.  She commented that most of the services were just too complicated as she was simply looking for someone to support her in bringing papa over to Singapore, and to give some home care support for him; especially around areas we were still unfamiliar like showering him, transporting him, and recommendations for good physiotherapy services to continue his recovery.

Initially Jyoti wasn’t sure if Coddle could deliver the right kinds of service that she needed, but after an initial conversation with them, it began to be clear that Coddle stood apart from all other home care providers she spoke with in Singapore. For one, unlike other companies who were more interested in proposing their services and packages, Coddle was interested in finding out what her needs were and how they could best support her.

First times are usually unnerving. Jyoti recalls her doubts in the feasibility of bringing papa over from India to Singapore.
Credits: Gennifer Wong


Precious Encouragement and Assurance

She recalls that at one point, what she really needed, aside from acquiring home care support, was for someone experienced to walk through her uncertainties with her. After all, this was her first time relocating her father to a different country and there were many things that seemed potentially overwhelming. The Coddlers (caregivers at Coddle) were very understanding and able to provide the right reassurances at every stage.

“I can still remember when I first called Robin (Coddle’s business engagement manager) on the phone. His manner and words were kind; they did not convey that this was a business looking to make a profit off me. It sounded like he wanted to help make things work for me as much as I did.” Jyoti said.

“In fact, I know this because they did not even charge me for the first few hours of their services. They just sat down and tried to find out what is it I need, and how they could help me.” She added that while there were obstacles while working with Coddle, for example, how papa’s wheelchair did not fit into the boot of a taxi when Robin accompanied papa to his medical appointment for the first time, he quickly rectified that by sourcing for alternative transport.


Why Coddle?

“In the end, it is not about whether they made a mistake or not. Because it is only human to err. What matters more is that Coddles’ care companions are all armed with the right attitude. They all have the attitude to keep things honest, make a mistake and own up, and care for papa like their own family,” Jyoti smiled as she continued to explain her experience with Coddle.

Chee Boon (Coddler in blue) and Robin (white) helping to transfer Papa from his wheelchair into the car.
Credits: Jerold Lee

However, Robin knew that the crux of Coddle is an innate desire to support an elderly not just medically, but also to build up their confidence and dignity as they make their transition from being independent to being dependent on others for their daily activities.

On that, Robin and his colleagues went above and beyond by maintaining a tight standard of treating Jyoti’s father with respect and love. He and his team always made sure to ask papa for his permission before they performed any specific type of care on him, and they would handle him the same way as they would care for their own dad – Not for the sake of getting things done, but doing it out of compassion and with utmost respect.

According to Jyoti, it is this genuine connection and sincerity that makes Coddle such a great home care service company.

Robin (Left), Papa (Center) and Jyoti (right). Jyoti enjoys the companionship that Coddle provides to her father.
Credits: Gennifer Wong


Coddle’s vision

Coddle’s vision is to elevate Singapore’s healthcare system to a state where every senior of advanced years is entitled to health care services delivered with grace and dignity. In Singapore, where elderly care is still perceived as a job of low worth, Coddle aims to address this misconception by making home care services a plausible option for anyone who hopes to make a career out of providing elder care. Jyoti ended her conversation by asserting that even though Coddle is new, she would encourage people to give them a shot. She said that: “For me, Coddle was a leap of faith, but now I can say with complete assurance that I took the right leap.  Coddle has been a blessing in so many ways!


By Gennifer Wong

Gennifer is a republic poly mass communication student who aspires to impact the community with her writings. To her, a good article is one speaks not just for herself, but one that represents the community and those that are unheard. Aside from being full-time student, her part time hobby includes doing free lance photography and watching funny cat videos.