Singapore’s ageing population has been a cause of national alarm for a while. Yet the question of what we need to do for our elderly – our grandparents, parents and older relatives – gets no easier. Should we leave old folks at home within the proper care of a maid? Place them in an old folks home or an elderly care facility (and face the judgment of our peers)? What else can we do today to better take care of the elderly and meet their changing needs?
Precisely how bad is definitely the ageing population in Singapore? Singapore’s population is ageing fast. By 2030, 1 in 4 people here is going to be past retirement age. That’ll ensure it is nearly a million people, that is almost the double the amount current elderly population. At the same time, lifespan is predicted to improve. Not to be crude about this, but this implies the larger population of seniors will be around for a longer time than before. So it’s important over a national level to consider how to tend to them.
This coming year, the government announced nursing home in JB, a compulsory national long-term care insurance, which will replace ElderShield in 2020. It’s intended to provide for people who have severe disabilities and will cover their basic needs for the remainder of their life. But that’s the financial part. But how about the care itself? Your elderly care options depends on just how much medical support is necessary.
Daycare for the elderly – for healthy seniors. For elderly folks who are mobile and healthy, but just bored of watching the usual dramas on Channel 8, you can find daycare centres for them to communicate with their peers and engage in activities that keep these occupied and alert. Cost: There’s a huge range since it depends on the form of activity. Many organised by SACs by AIC are free, while enrolling in a privately run activity centre can cost from $250 to $1,200/month.
Healthcare centres – for seniors who need some medical care. Many seniors have some kind of health problem or some other. When they do not require constant attention but merely some form of rehabilitation, these are generally places where sick or disabled seniors can spend the morning or several hours for medical treatment. The government has subsidies for centre-based healthcare for your elderly. Included in this category are: day rehabilitation centres, dementia daycare centres, psychiatric daycare centres and rehabilitation homes. Cost: You might be charged per session of therapy or rehabilitation. Fees vary from $6 to $160 per session before subsidies.
Hiring domestic help – for healthy seniors who need company. In case your elderly family member is pretty healthy and values his personal space, a domestic helper is a great option. Some helpers are generally medically trained or have experience caring for seniors.
It is possible to tap on several government assistance schemes to cover the FDW you hire for such purposes: FDW Grant and FDW Levy Concession. These basically cap your monthly costs in a manageable amount.
There’s another Caregivers Training Grant of $200 a year, which can be used to send your helper for courses to train her to higher good care of seniors. The trainer may even come to your house to conduct classes. For additional independent seniors who don’t require round-the-clock care or supervision, consider getting a part-time caregiver instead. Cost: A live-in helper generally costs $600 to $850/month before subsidies and grants. A part-time caregiver costs $20 to $25/hour.
Live-in nurse – for seniors who require constant health care. In case your elderly relative needs a greater amount of care, you might want to think about a nurse, aide or trained caregiver instead of (or as well as) an ordinary helper. Nurses and nurse aides have medical training, while trained caregivers watch over their charges 24/7, helping these with personal care, meals and medication. That’s unlike domestic helpers, whose core duties are more on household tasks.
Additionally, there are several government schemes to help buy this, including subsidies for home-based care. For disabled seniors, there’s Eldershield as well as the Pioneer Disability Assistance Scheme. You can also get subsidies to get assistive devices, home healthcare items or for transport to take older people to day services at MOH-funded facilities through the Senior Mobility and Enabling Fund. Cost: $600 to $1,000/month before subsidies
Nursing facilities a.k.a. old folks’ homes – for constant medical treatment. Finally, nursing facilities or old folks’ home are typically a last recourse for Singaporeans. Sending your relative to a home is not an easy or pleasant decision because most don’t wish to live out their last days that way. It’s also higher priced when compared to a live-in helper. Often, people who go for this have no choice as the elderly who definitely are ill or disabled and require 24/7 care the family cannot provide.
There are several 70 nursing facilities in Singapore. Some are very nothing more than a bed and medical care, and have given old folks homes the bad rep it offers. But you will find homes that have a far more holistic care strategy, with activities iupstd stimulate the mind and body, like NTUC Health Elderly Care Facility, ECON Elderly Care Facility and Orange Valley. Typically they cost $1,200 to $3,500/month.
On the top end in the spectrum, there’s St. Bernadette Lifestyle Village where residents live independently and obtain to cost constraints for elderly folks in singapore, activities and games, while having quick access to medical care via the 24-hour medical concierge. It costs an awesome $3,650/month. At MOH-run public nursing facilities and Medifund accredited private homes, you are able to cancel out the costs with government subsidies for residential services.