Singapore’s ageing population is a reason for national alarm for quite a while. However the question of what we should 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 elderly care facility (and face the judgment of our peers)? What else can we do today to better care for seniors and meet their changing needs?
Exactly how bad will be 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, which is almost the twice the current elderly population. Simultaneously, life expectancy is anticipated to boost. Never to be crude about this, but this means the larger population of seniors will likely be around for an extended time than before. So it’s important on a national level to think about how to care for them.
This coming year, the government announced nursing home in JB, 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 for the rest of their life. But that’s the financial part. But what about the care itself? Your elderly care options will depend on exactly how much medical support is necessary.
Daycare for your elderly – for healthy seniors. For elderly folks who are mobile and healthy, but just bored of watching the same kind of dramas on Channel 8, there are daycare centres to allow them to interact with their peers and take part in activities that have them occupied and alert. Cost: There’s a big range because it depends on the kind of activity. Many organised by SACs by AIC cost nothing, while enrolling in a privately run activity centre can cost from $250 to $1,200/month.
Healthcare centres – for seniors who need a little health care. Many seniors have some type of health problem or other. If they do not require constant attention but merely some form of rehabilitation, these are generally places where sick or disabled seniors can spend the day or a few hours for health care. The federal government has subsidies for centre-based healthcare for the elderly. A part of 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 require company. In case your elderly family member is rather healthy and values his personal space, a domestic helper is an excellent option. Some helpers are either medically trained or have experience looking after 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 with a manageable amount.
There’s also a Caregivers Training Grant of $200 per year, which can be used to send your helper for courses to train her to improve good care of seniors. The trainer may even come to your property 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 need constant medical treatment. If your elderly relative requires a greater level of care, you might want to think about a nurse, aide or trained caregiver as opposed to (or as well as) a regular helper. Nurses and nurse aides have medical training, while trained caregivers watch over their charges 24/7, helping 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 help purchase this, including subsidies for home-based care. For disabled seniors, there’s Eldershield and also the Pioneer Disability Assistance Scheme. You may also get subsidies to buy assistive devices, home healthcare items or transport to create 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 facilities a.k.a. old folks’ homes – for constant health care. Finally, nursing homes or old folks’ home are usually a last recourse for Singaporeans. Sending your in accordance with a home is not really a fairly easy 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 choose this have no choice since the elderly who definitely are ill or disabled and require 24/7 care that this family cannot provide.
There are a few 70 nursing facilities in Singapore. Some are really nothing more than a bed and medical treatment, and also have given old folks homes the not so good rep it provides. But you will find homes who have a 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. On average 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 get to affordability is key, activities and games, while having quick access to medical treatment via the 24-hour medical concierge. It costs an awesome $3,650/month. At MOH-run public nursing homes and Medifund accredited private homes, you are able to counterbalance the costs with government subsidies for residential services.