It’s Personal: Joshua Goh on Red Crown’s Ethos & Community Care

Joshua Goh, CEO of Red Crowns, shares a special moment with his father, a resident of the senior home

For Joshua Goh, it’s personal.


Our founder and CEO started Red Crowns because he had the same problems that many family members of our residents have.


In late 2020, his father, who was getting frailer with age, had a series of falls. It was clear that living without supervision at home was no longer viable. Staying with Joshua was not possible given family dynamics, and the alternatives were nursing homes, or old folks’ homes. Neither offered the blend of attention, professional supervision and independence that Joshua was hoping to find for his dad. Those that did to some degree, proved prohibitively expensive. 


So Joshua, an architect and serial hospitality entrepreneur, did what he does best: never being one to wait around for others to solve his problems, he created the solution.


In 2021, Red Crowns was born.

Joshua Goh annd his father share a deep connection

Starting with a single four-room HDB flat with his father, three other seniors, and two caregivers, Red Crowns grew quickly. Word had spread that there was an assisted living option in Singapore which offered personalised care for each resident: allowing them to age with dignity, vitality and as independently as possible with the help they needed, in an environment much like home.


If Joshua’s father was the catalyst for the starting of Red Crowns, it was his mother who seeded our philosophy and values. Joshua lost his mum over a decade ago to cancer. Around that time, he and his wife had just welcomed their new baby into the world, and he’d also been travelling a lot on business.


"I lost my mum at an age where my priorities were everywhere else, and this is my greatest regret. I wish I had more time with her.”


And that was the foundation on which Red Crowns was built.


Joshua understands deeply, the wish of many children to look after their parents, and advocates that we serve every resident at Red Crowns the way we would want our own parents to be treated.


“My father expressed his wish to age in place instead of being moved to an institution, and I wanted to provide him with a comfortable, warm, caring home. I hope he ages with grace and dignity as he continues to do what he likes to do, like drinking his Kopi O and people-watching at the kopitiam."


Like all new ventures, this one came with its unique challenges. The greatest so far has been the investigation by the Ministry of Manpower in the middle of last year (2023), following discussions since November 2021. It was really difficult, with Red Crowns at risk of being shut down. But amid the direness of the situation, our residents and their families — who were told to find alternative living arrangements — spoke up staunchly about how important Red Crowns was to their lives. And they were heard. In November of the same year, Red Crowns was accepted as a part of the Shared Stay-in Senior Care Services two-year sandbox, piloted by the Ministry of Health and Agency of Integrated Care, supported by the Ministry of Manpower.


Despite the bumps in the road, this journey has been an instructive one. In pioneering this new model of care, and tackling the challenge of finding a suitable regulatory framework, Joshua accepts the outcome of the investigations announced earlier this month, and is thankful for the support of the authorities in helping us streamline our processes under the law.


“I’m very grateful,” Joshua says. “A lot of people came together to find a way to keep Red Crowns going and make this work: staff, residents, their families, and especially the government.”


Today, three years into our journey, we have served almost 300 residents in more than 40 homes across Singapore. Our ethos of providing seniors with a supportive, home-like environment where they can thrive, means that every single resident’s care is tailored just for them, from exercise to nutrition to leisure activities and outings. This foundation of dignity and fulfilment extends to our team. Caregivers, who are the beating heart of what we do, are given growth incentives, career progression opportunities and professional development support. And as Singapore ages, prompting an ever greater demand for quality care, we aim to extend our model to support many more residents and their families. 


Joshua doesn’t have to go far to find evidence that the Red Crowns model is working. For his dad, who had been disengaged from the world around him, the transformation has been profound.


“My dad used to tell me ‘I wake up for what? I’m not going out, or doing anything. I have no friends alive in this world. There’s nothing to do.’ I still remember when we moved him into the first Red Crowns home with the other residents. He would wake up and comb his hair everyday, and his caregiver would tell me that he spent a lot of time keeping himself presentable. He just wanted to carry himself properly, because there were other people to do that for.” He’d also stopped drinking, smokes less, and “I’ve never seen him exercise so much in my life,” Joshua chuckles. 


In harnessing the power of community to help seniors age in place, Red Crowns fosters the connection that seniors have with each other and the world. A resident at Red Crowns is not just a customer — they’re part of a family and a community.

Redcrowns aims to help you live your senior years happily.
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Date Published
April 29, 2024
Charlene Winfred