St Theresa’s Home

Established in 1935 by the Little Sisters of the Poor, St Theresa’s Home runs on a human-centred care philosophy that includes therapy sessions with horses and breakfast outings to hawker centres.
49, Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574325
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St Theresa’s Home was established in 1935 by the Little Sisters of the Poor, with donations from philanthropists Mr Aw Boon Haw and Mr Aw Boon Par. It is part of an international congregation of Catholic nuns with a mission to look after the old, poor and destitute. Since the late 1930s, the nursing home moved from Derbyshire Road to Upper Thomson Road, where it now stands.

During the Japanese Occupation, the Little Sisters managed to house 300 families despite the limited facilities and toilets. These limited resources were overcome by the bonds among the seniors, with the healthy seniors helping the weaker ones.

Today, the Little Sisters work to ensure comfort and peace for the aged in their golden years. As of 2020, they offer three main services—medical and nursing, rehabilitation and allied health services, as well as pastoral and spiritual care. Therapy sessions include equine therapy with horses from Equal Ark to improve the seniors’ psychological health. Residents also enjoy breakfast outings to nearby hawker centres.

A Tranquil Space

The nursing home is perched atop a hill and is enveloped in lush green vegetation.

A stylised gable façade and Tuscan columns frame the front façade of the main building. Surrounding it are repetitive semi-circular arches along the corridors. Other architectural elements have been adapted to the tropical climate. These include spaces between the buildings to ensure effective penetration of natural lighting and ventilation, sheltered corridors and linkways between buildings, louvre windows and pre-casted concrete vents. Religious features such as stylised crosses and figurines can also be seen.

Colourful bed linen, photographs and personal knick-knacks that are reflective of its residents’ individual tastes warmly make up the interiors of the home.

Plans for the Future

In 2003, the Catholic Welfare Services (CWS) Singapore took over the management of St Theresa’s Home with the support of the Brothers of Mercy and Infant Jesus Sisters. In 2017, CWS released plans to redevelop the home into a modernised, larger and livelier elder-care facility to be called St Theresa’s Village, at a new site. Details of the redevelopment have not been disclosed at the time of writing. Through the decades, St Theresa’s Home remains true to its values of love and care for others; especially for the less fortunate in the society.

Buildings and sites featured on Roots.SG are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.SG does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of July 2020 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.