Singapore’s ageing population is a cause of national alarm for quite a while. However the question of what we must do for our elderly – our grandparents, parents and older relatives – gets no easier. Should we leave old folks at home in the good care of a maid? Place them in an old folks home or nursing home (and face the judgment of our peers)? What else can we do in order to better look after the elderly and meet their changing needs?
Exactly how bad is definitely the ageing population in Singapore? Singapore’s population is ageing fast. By 2030, 1 in 4 people here will be past retirement age. That’ll ensure it is nearly one million people, that is almost the double the amount current elderly population. At the same time, life expectancy is expected to improve. To not be crude about it, but this implies the big population of seniors will be around for an extended time than before. So it’s important on a national level to consider how to look after them.
This coming year, the government announced 新山疗养院, a compulsory national long term care insurance, that can replace ElderShield in 2020. It’s designed to provide for people who have severe disabilities and covers their basic needs throughout their life. But that’s the financial part. But how about the care itself? Your elderly care options will depend on how much medical support is necessary.
Daycare for the elderly – for healthy seniors. For elderly people that are mobile and healthy, but simply bored of watching the same kind of dramas on Channel 8, you will find daycare centres to allow them to interact with their peers and engage in activities that keep them occupied and alert. Cost: There’s a huge range since it depends on the form of activity. Many organised by SACs by AIC cost nothing, while enrolling in a privately run activity centre could cost from $250 to $1,200/month.
Healthcare centres – for seniors who need some medical treatment. Many seniors have some form of health issue or other. Should they do not need constant attention but merely some kind of rehabilitation, they are places where sick or disabled seniors can spend the morning or several hours for medical treatment. The federal government has subsidies for centre-based healthcare for the elderly. Contained in this category are: day rehabilitation centres, dementia daycare centres, psychiatric daycare centres and rehabilitation homes. Cost: You happen to be charged per session of therapy or rehabilitation. Fees range from $6 to $160 per session before subsidies.
Hiring domestic help – for healthy seniors who want company. If your elderly cherished one is rather healthy and values his personal space, a domestic helper is an excellent option. Some helpers are either medically trained or have experience taking care of seniors.
You are able 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 at a manageable amount.
There’s also a Caregivers Training Grant of $200 annually, which you can use to send your helper for courses to train her to improve care of the elderly. The trainer may even come to your home to conduct classes. For additional independent seniors who don’t require round-the-clock care or supervision, consider employing 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 need constant medical care. In case your elderly relative requires a greater degree of care, you might want to think about a nurse, aide or trained caregiver instead of (or along with) a normal 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 tend to be more on household tasks.
In addition there are a few government schemes to aid pay for 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 transport to take older people to day services at MOH-funded facilities through the Senior Mobility and Enabling Fund. Cost: $600 to $one thousand/month before subsidies
Nursing facilities a.k.a. old folks’ homes – for constant medical treatment. Finally, nursing facilities or old folks’ home are usually a last recourse for Singaporeans. Sending your relative to a house will not be a simple or pleasant decision since most don’t want to live out their last days that way. It’s also higher priced when compared to a live-in helper. Often, those that opt 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 a few 70 nursing homes in Singapore. Some are actually nothing more than a bed and medical treatment, and possess given old folks homes the negative rep it provides. But there are homes who have a much more holistic care strategy, with activities iupstd stimulate the mind and body, including NTUC Health An Elderly Care Facility, ECON An Elderly Care Facility and Orange Valley. On average they cost $1,200 to $3,500/month.
On the top quality in the spectrum, there’s St. Bernadette Lifestyle Village where residents live independently and acquire to an alternative worth considering, activities and games, while having easy access to medical care via the 24-hour medical concierge. It costs an awesome $3,650/month. At MOH-run public nursing homes and Medifund accredited private homes, it is possible to offset the costs with government subsidies for residential services.