Singapore’s ageing population has been a reason for national alarm for some time. Yet 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 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 to better take care of the elderly 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 will likely be past retirement age. That’ll ensure it is nearly millions of people, which can be almost the twice the current elderly population. At the same time, life span is predicted to improve. Never to be crude regarding it, but this implies the big population of seniors will likely be around for a longer time than in the past. So it’s important on the national level to consider how to look after them.
This coming year, the federal government announced JB nursing home, a compulsory national long term care insurance, which will replace ElderShield in 2020. It’s intended to provide for those who have severe disabilities and covers their basic needs for the rest 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 necessary.
Daycare for that elderly – for healthy seniors. For elderly people that are mobile and healthy, but just bored of watching the usual dramas on Channel 8, you will find daycare centres for them to connect with their peers and be a part of activities that keep these occupied and alert. Cost: There’s a large range since it depends on the kind of activity. Many organised by SACs by AIC are free, 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 form of health issue or other. Should they do not require constant attention but merely some form of rehabilitation, these are places where sick or disabled seniors can spend your day or a couple of hours for health care. 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 are charged per session of therapy or rehabilitation. Fees range between $6 to $160 per session before subsidies.
Hiring domestic help – for healthy seniors who need company. If your elderly loved one is rather healthy and values his personal space, a domestic helper is a great option. Some helpers are either medically trained or have experience taking care of seniors.
You can 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 at a manageable amount.
There’s another Caregivers Training Grant of $200 per year, that can be used to deliver your helper for courses to teach her to better good care of older people. The trainer can even come to your house to conduct classes. For additional independent seniors who don’t require round-the-clock care or supervision, consider hiring 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 medical treatment. Should your elderly relative demands a greater amount of care, you may want to look at a nurse, aide or trained caregiver as opposed to (or as well as) an ordinary 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 are more on household tasks.
There are also several government schemes to assist pay for this, including subsidies for home-based care. For disabled seniors, there’s Eldershield and the Pioneer Disability Assistance Scheme. You may also get subsidies to buy assistive devices, home healthcare items or transport to bring older people to day services at MOH-funded facilities with the Senior Mobility and Enabling Fund. Cost: $600 to $one thousand/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 home is not a fairly easy or pleasant decision since most don’t want to live out their last days this way. It’s also more expensive compared to a live-in helper. Often, people who opt for this do not have choice as the elderly who definitely are ill or disabled and require 24/7 care that this family cannot provide.
There are some 70 nursing facilities in Singapore. Some are really simply a bed and health care, and possess given old folks homes the negative rep it has. But you can find homes which have a much more holistic care strategy, with activities iupstd stimulate the mind and body, 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 quality of 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 treatment through the 24-hour medical concierge. It costs a cool $3,650/month. At MOH-run public nursing facilities and Medifund accredited private homes, you are able to counterbalance the costs with government subsidies for residential services.