According to the Ministry of Health in 2018, Singapore had enough capacity to cater for the aged. Additionally, the government is in the process of establishing 6,200 daycare places, home care residences of about 10000, and nursing homes beds of about 17000 by next year.
According to a study conducted in 2016, care for many seniors is happening outside of hospitals and nursing homes. There is a rise in the number of people accessing subsidized home and center-based services. Again, according to the Lien report, Singapore should expect the greying population to double to a million by 2030. Additionally, life expectancy is increasing meaning there is a need for long-term solutions.
Meanwhile, several elderly care services are being offered in Singapore. Also, there are a couple of government involvements to help navigate the problem of the aging population. For instance, the government ordered the replacement of ElderShield to CareShield. The new long-term care insurance will be compulsory. The cover will provide for people with disabilities for the rest of their life.
So, while it is a challenge, there are on-going programs to assist the aged in Singapore. Here are some of them.
Live-in nurse for constant care
This service works for the elderly who are mobile and healthy. It is possible that your elderly relative does not want to stay at home alone. They wish to interact with other older persons. With daycare service, the elderly can involve themselves in fitness activities. These services come at a cost.
Such a service works for seniors with a need for minor medical attention. It is a fact that most seniors need some form of medical care. A healthcare facility can offer day service or a few minutes of check-up. It can also be a need for rehabilitation, dementia, and psychiatric services.
Hiring domestic help
Domestic help caregivers have experience caring for seniors. Most of the time, domestic help is best when the senior is healthy or with manageable medical conditions. Local caregivers have some form of medical expertise. There are government subsidies to help settle bills that come with hiring domestic help. Some of them are FDW grant, FDW Levy Concession, and Caregivers Training Grant. Since there are seniors, who do not need full-time care. In that case, you can consider hiring part-time domestic help.
As the name suggests, the nurse helps the senior with all the medical issues that are manageable from home. The nurse could work in conjunction with the domestic help. Such care is better when the elder has some a need for a higher level of medical care. Hiring a readily accessible nurse, either by living with the senior or near the elder for 24/7 surveillance, is a good move. A nurse compliments the job of the domestic caregiver who primarily offers assistance with the household tasks. There are several government schemes to subsidize the cost of such a service. The disabled seniors get ElderShield and Pioneer disability assistance Scheme. There are also subsidies when buying home elderly care devices from the Senior Mobility and Enabling Fund.
There are 70 such homes in Singapore. They are more of a last resort that most people feel sorry to go for since they do not get to spend time with their elderly relatives in their final days. Most of the time, it is due to lack of choices since the senior is ill and require constant medical attention or care that the family is not available to sufficiently provide. There are private and government-supported nursing homes. The private nursing homes have better programs to attract the elderly who surely need care.
It is important to note that these services are not very cheap. The government is coming on board to offset the high cost since it is a nationwide need that is on the rise. Either way, the system seems to be working fine regardless of the current headlines brought by reports.