Singapore’s ageing population has been a cause for national alarm for a while. Yet 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 care of a maid? Place them in an old folks home or elderly care facility (and face the judgment of our peers)? What else can we do in order to better care for older people and meet their changing needs?
Just 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 allow it to be nearly a million people, that is almost the twice the current elderly population. At the same time, lifespan is anticipated to increase. To not be crude about it, but what this means is the larger population of seniors will likely be around for a longer time than ever before. So it’s important on a national level to consider how to care for them.
This season, the us government announced JB nursing home, a compulsory national long-term care insurance, which will replace ElderShield in 2020. It’s meant to provide for those who have severe disabilities and will pay for their basic needs for the remainder of their life. But that’s the financial part. But have you thought about the care itself? Your elderly care options depends on just how much medical support is needed.
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 to allow them to communicate with their peers and be a part of activities that have them occupied and alert. Cost: There’s a big 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 may cost from $250 to $1,200/month.
Healthcare centres – for seniors who need a little health care. Many seniors have some kind of health problem or other. If they do not require constant attention but merely some type of rehabilitation, these are places where sick or disabled seniors can spend the morning or a few hours for medical care. The federal government has subsidies for centre-based healthcare for that elderly. Included in this category are: day rehabilitation centres, dementia daycare centres, psychiatric daycare centres and rehabilitation homes. Cost: You are charged per session of therapy or rehabilitation. Fees range 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 good option. Some helpers may be 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 at a manageable amount.
There’s another Caregivers Training Grant of $200 annually, which you can use to send your helper for courses to teach her to higher good care of seniors. The trainer can also 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 want constant medical treatment. In case your elderly relative requires a greater degree of care, you may want to look at a nurse, aide or trained caregiver as opposed to (or in addition to) a regular helper. Nurses and nurse aides have medical training, while trained caregivers watch over their charges 24/7, helping all of them with personal care, meals and medication. That’s unlike domestic helpers, whose core duties tend to be more on household tasks.
There are also several government schemes to assist purchase this, including subsidies for home-based care. For disabled seniors, there’s Eldershield and also the Pioneer Disability Assistance Scheme. You can also get subsidies to get assistive devices, home healthcare items or for transport to take seniors to day services at MOH-funded facilities from the Senior Mobility and Enabling Fund. Cost: $600 to $1,000/month before subsidies
Nursing facilities a.k.a. old folks’ homes – for constant health care. Finally, nursing homes or old folks’ home are generally a last recourse for Singaporeans. Sending your relative to a property is not an easy or pleasant decision because most don’t desire to live out their last days like that. It’s also higher priced when compared to a live-in helper. Often, people who go for 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 some 70 nursing homes in Singapore. Some are really simply a bed and medical care, and also have given old folks homes the not so good rep it has. But you can find homes that have a more holistic care strategy, with activities iupstd stimulate the body and mind, such as NTUC Health Elderly Care Facility, ECON Elderly Care Facility and Orange Valley. On average they cost $1,200 to $3,500/month.
On the top end from the spectrum, there’s St. Bernadette Lifestyle Village where residents live independently and get to cost constraints for elderly folks in singapore, activities and games, while having quick access to health care 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.