According to the Straits Times, Singapore’s population is rapidly ageing. It is reported that by around 2030, 23.8 per cent—or one of four citizens—of the country will be aged 65 and above.
The issue of ageing societies remains a challenge for healthcare providers, policymakers and anyone who has elderly loved ones in their lives. This, in turn, has increased the demand for senior care services and facilities.
And even if you want to personally provide for the needs of your elderly parents, they might need professional assistance depending on their condition. Fortunately, there are several elderly care services available in Singapore that cater to different needs.
Read on to learn more about senior care, types of services and subsidies to make one’s elderly care in Singapore easier and affordable!
The Basics: What Is Senior Care and Why Is It Necessary?
Also referred to as elderly care, senior care refers to specialised care designed to meet the physical and medical needs of senior citizens.
It is considered a broad term since it encompasses various types, such as adult daycare, nursing homes, hospice care and assisted living, among others.
Elder care is not always an immediate need. There are senior citizens that do not require any type of care in their later years, allowing them to live independently.
However, senior care becomes a part of the conversation when your elderly folks find it difficult to accomplish activities of daily living (ADLs). This includes driving vehicles, cleaning, dressing up and taking medications.
So, if you notice an alarming decline in their health that prevents them from ageing safely and independently at home, it’s time to start discussing elder care. The warning signs may include memory loss, sensory issues, changes in personality and many more.
Here are some of the reasons why senior care can alleviate the hardships of ageing:
- Ensure safety and security
- Access to healthcare
- Daily assistance
- Social interaction
- Improves mental health and cognitive skills
Types of Elderly Care in Singapore: Services Our Elderly Loved Ones Need
Singapore offers different services for senior citizens at every life stage. This typically ranges from home care services, where professional help is given at their home, or daycare centres where your loved ones can socialise while you’re away.
Let’s delve deeper into these types of senior care below:
On-demand Elderly Home Care
Some senior citizens prefer to stay at home. They like spending their days in a familiar environment where they feel comfortable, especially if they’re introverts.
However, this can be a source of worry if you live miles away from them. Luckily, you can hire a trained caregiver to look after your loved one in the comfort of their home.
Home care services comprise nursing care and medical services. They also come with support for daily living, such as companionship, showering and assistance with medical appointments. Professional caregivers can also provide your elderly folks with rehabilitation therapy like speech therapy at home.
This type of care is usually on-demand. Meaning to say, you only pay for the hours you need. You can also opt for the 24/7 option if your loved one requires constant care and monitoring.
Check out the types of elderly home care you may consider:
Home Personal Care
Hired caregivers will assist your loved ones in their daily activities, such as meal preparations, showering and medication. Moreover, they can also keep them engaged in fun activities to help them stay mentally and physically active.
What’s more, there are caregivers who are trained to care for seniors who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or stroke. The cost usually starts from S$21 per hour.
Home Medical Care
This type of elderly home care starts at S$20 per hour. Your elder folks can embrace the convenience that comes with consulting a doctor through a teleconsultation or requesting a house call doctor.
This is the perfect choice for seniors who have mobility issues. You can also have their medications and other supplies delivered right to their doorstep.
If you need a helping hand in transporting seniors to and fro appointments, getting a medical escort has you covered. They will ensure that your loved ones are safe when attending social events and medical appointments!
Meals on Wheels
Have you ever wondered if your loved ones eat their meals on time while you’re at work? If so, a meal delivery program called meals on wheels is your best bet.
They deliver food to elder folks who cannot prepare meals on their own or don’t have the privilege of having their own caregivers. It costs approximately S$4.80 per meal.
Elderly Day Care Centre
Social isolation and loneliness tend to come when someone gets old. Due to mobility issues and other health-related concerns, you can’t go out as much as you did back then. You also lose friends and family along the way, either because of death or lack of contact.
This is why people who have senior citizens in their lives consider daycare services for older adults. It enables them to socialise and participate in planned activities while receiving medical attention.
Some centres also organise support groups and seminars to encourage people to continue caring for their seniors. The cost may range from $400 to $1,600 a month before subsidies, depending on the type of centre.
Here are some of the reliable elderly daycare centres you should visit:
Orange Valley Nursing Home
With five branches across the country, Orange Valley Nursing Home is one of the biggest private nursing homes in Singapore. Their comprehensive services include home care, caregiver training and residential care, among others.
They also offer a program called The Longevity Day Care. This is where seniors can engage in social activities, peer interaction and rehabilitation to maintain or improve their overall well-being. For instance, they may partake in maintenance exercises and cognitive-engaging tasks for mental stimulation.
They are located in Marsiling, Changi, Simei, Clementi, Balestier and Sims Avenue.
NTUC Health Senior Day Care (Silver Circle)
Over 1,100 seniors take advantage of the facilities offered by NTUC Health Senior Day Care (Silver Circle) each year. They are often considered unique since they allow intergenerational activities, allowing senior citizens to interact with younger children.
This aims to enrich values, such as respect, compassion and empathy for the elderly. To spend time with children, they bake together and engage in arts and crafts activities.
Residential Intermediate and Long-Term Care
There are instances when our elderly loved ones may require around-the-clock supervision, especially if they are chronically ill. This calls for residential intermediate & long-term care that is only available in healthcare facilities.
These facilities include:
Chronic Sick Units
Chronic sick units are dedicated to seniors who require frequent maintenance and skilled nursing care on a regular basis. They are mostly bedridden and suffer from severe illnesses, such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and cystic fibrosis, to name a few.
This type of healthcare facility provides different elder care services like physiotherapy, nursing care and dental care. Trained nurses will assist your elder folks 24/7 and implement a strict routine to keep everything in place.
Nursing homes are also the best place for patients who suffer from dementia and other psychiatric issues. Just make sure that you look for a nursing home that fits the needs and preferences of your loved ones.
Seniors may be referred to community hospitals once they are discharged from the hospital. These facilities provide short-term continuing care to further allow your loved ones to recuperate.
They are managed by licensed healthcare workers and include maternity clinics, x-ray departments, minor injuries units, etc.
Subsidies Available for Senior Care in Singapore
We understand that long-term senior care can sometimes break the bank. The good news is, Singapore has acknowledged the challenges being faced by its ageing population. You can now benefit from various grants, subsidies and financial schemes to help the elderly care journey manageable on your part.
Take a closer look at them below:
ElderShield is an insurance scheme that provides basic financial protection to every Singaporean who requires long-term care. It aims to be your safety net in case your budget falls short in medication, hospital bills and many more.
If your elderly loved one becomes severely disabled, they will be given cash payouts of S$300 or S$400 per month, for up to 72 months.
They will automatically become policyholders at the age of 40 if they have a MediSave account. Eligibility is also possible if they are covered by a private insurer appointed by the Ministry of Health, including Great Eastern, Income or Aviva.
Home Caregiving Grant (HCG)
The Home Caregiving Grant (HCG) is given to eligible care recipients who are in need of support due to a moderate disability. This means that they require assistance in performing ADLs like washing, toileting, feeding and many more.
It provides a monthly cash payout of S$200. You can use it to pay for caregiver support services if you’re on a tight budget.
To be eligible for HCG, the recipient should be a Singaporean Citizen (SC) or Permanent Resident (PR) with a parent, spouse or child who is a citizen of the country. Also, your monthly household income per person should not exceed S$2,800.
Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE)
The National Registry of Diseases Office (NRDO) of Singapore has expressed huge concern about the rate of unintentional falls that happen at home. These falls lead to early admission to long-term facilities for the elderly, especially the ones living alone.
Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) offers subsidies to help you install home modifications and make a safer home for your ageing parents.
Support from NGOs
Aside from government support, NGOs such as Singapore Red Cross provides a home monitoring system through their HoME+ programme. A subsidy is also available for a select group of seniors, specifically the low-income ones.
This monitoring system involves sensors placed around a senior’s home. When they press the panic button or sensors detect unusual movements, alerts will be sent to the Red Cross’ call centre. Responders are then sent to the senior’s residence to provide necessary assistance.
This type of support is highly recommended for senior citizens living alone, especially if they have mobility issues.
Elderly care is not a cakewalk. Seeing your parents age and face various challenges in life can be heartbreaking, especially if you have no clue where to start.
But the good thing about living in Singapore is that you have access to good healthcare, financial subsidies and elderly care services. You are never alone in this journey. Everyone has equal opportunities to embrace the greatness of life, no matter their age.
That’s why Blissfull Life is here with a vision of a world where advancing years do not affect our independence and we can hold off interventions from the care system for as long as we can.
We set out to encourage people and societies to stay close, and in touch with our loved ones, especially our seniors regardless of the distance that keeps us apart and make use of good technology to create a more inclusive society.
Blissfull Life is all about making use of the power of technology to enable independence and promote inclusiveness of our seniors especially when they are living by themselves.From emergency buttons to monitoring sensors to remote vital sign monitoring, we provide a range of products and solutions that allow you to closely look after your elderly loved ones anytime and anywhere. For more information, you can visit our website and send us a message. Let us support our ageing parents to age gracefully and safely at home.