Singapore’s ageing population is a cause for 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 within the 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 to better care for the elderly and meet their changing needs?
Just how bad is 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 allow it to be nearly one million people, that is almost the twice the current elderly population. Simultaneously, lifespan is expected to improve. To not be crude about it, but this implies the large population of seniors will be around for a longer time than in the past. So it’s important on a national level to take into account how to care for them.
This year, the federal government announced nursing home in JB, a compulsory national long term care insurance, which will replace ElderShield in 2020. It’s designed to provide for people with severe disabilities and will pay for 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 is determined by exactly how much medical support is required.
Daycare for that elderly – for healthy seniors. For elderly people that are mobile and healthy, but simply bored of watching the usual dramas on Channel 8, there are daycare centres so they can interact with their peers and take part in activities that have them occupied and alert. Cost: There’s a huge range as it depends on the type of activity. Many organised by SACs by AIC cost nothing, while enrolling in a privately run activity centre may cost from $250 to $1,200/month.
Healthcare centres – for seniors who need some medical treatment. Many seniors have some type of health issue or any other. Should they do not need constant attention but merely some form of rehabilitation, these are generally places where sick or disabled seniors can spend your day or a couple of hours for health care. The government has subsidies for centre-based healthcare for that 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 vary from $6 to $160 per session before subsidies.
Hiring domestic help – for healthy seniors who need company. In case your elderly cherished one is pretty healthy and values his personal space, a domestic helper is an excellent option. Some helpers may be medically trained or have experience caring for seniors.
It is possible to tap on several government assistance schemes to pay for 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 also a Caregivers Training Grant of $200 a year, that can be used to deliver your helper for courses to exercise her to higher good care of the elderly. The trainer can even come to your property to conduct classes. For more 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 treatment. Should your elderly relative needs a greater amount of care, you may want to think about a nurse, aide or trained caregiver instead of (or along with) a regular 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.
In addition there are several government schemes to aid buy this, including subsidies for home-based care. For disabled seniors, there’s Eldershield as well as the Pioneer Disability Assistance Scheme. You can even get subsidies to buy assistive devices, home healthcare items or for transport to take the elderly to day services at MOH-funded facilities through the Senior Mobility and Enabling Fund. Cost: $600 to $1,000/month before subsidies
Nursing homes a.k.a. old folks’ homes – for constant medical treatment. Finally, nursing homes or old folks’ home are typically a last recourse for Singaporeans. Sending your relative to a property will not be an easy or pleasant decision because most don’t wish to live out their last days that way. It’s also more expensive than a live-in helper. Often, people who choose this do not have choice since the elderly that are ill or disabled and require 24/7 care that this family cannot provide.
There are several 70 nursing homes in Singapore. Some are actually simply a bed and medical care, and also have given old folks homes the negative rep it has. But there are homes who have a far more holistic care strategy, with activities iupstd stimulate the body and mind, such as NTUC Health 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 of the spectrum, there’s St. Bernadette Lifestyle Village where residents live independently and obtain to suitable place for singapore elderly, activities and games, while having easy access to medical treatment using the 24-hour medical concierge. It costs an awesome $3,650/month. At MOH-run public nursing facilities and Medifund accredited private homes, you can offset the costs with government subsidies for residential services.