Singapore’s ageing population is a reason 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 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?
Just how bad will be 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 make it nearly a million people, which is almost the double the amount current elderly population. At the same time, life expectancy is anticipated to improve. To not be crude regarding it, but this implies the larger population of seniors will be around for a longer time than ever before. So it’s important on a national level to think about how to care for them.
This season, the government announced nursing home in JB, a compulsory national long term care insurance, that will replace ElderShield in 2020. It’s designed to provide for those who have severe disabilities and covers their basic needs for the remainder of their life. But that’s the financial part. But what about the care itself? Your elderly care options depends on exactly how much medical support is necessary.
Daycare for the elderly – for healthy seniors. For elderly folks who are mobile and healthy, but just bored of watching the same old dramas on Channel 8, you can find daycare centres to allow them to communicate with their peers and be a part of activities that keep these occupied and alert. Cost: There’s a large range because it depends on the kind of activity. Many organised by SACs by AIC are free of charge, while enrolling in a privately run activity centre may cost from $250 to $1,200/month.
Healthcare centres – for seniors who need some health care. Many seniors have some kind of health issue or some other. If they do not need constant attention but merely some form of rehabilitation, they are places where sick or disabled seniors can spend your day or several hours for medical treatment. The government has subsidies for centre-based healthcare for the 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 between $6 to $160 per session before subsidies.
Hiring domestic help – for healthy seniors who require company. If your elderly loved one is pretty healthy and values his personal space, a domestic helper is an excellent option. Some helpers are generally medically trained or have experience caring for seniors.
You are able 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 at a manageable amount.
There’s also a Caregivers Training Grant of $200 per year, that can be used to send out your helper for courses to exercise her to improve proper care of older people. The trainer can even come to your property to conduct classes. For further 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 require constant medical treatment. Should your elderly relative requires a greater amount of care, you may want to think about a nurse, aide or trained caregiver rather than (or in addition to) a normal 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 are more on household tasks.
There are also a few government schemes to assist 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 even get subsidies to buy assistive devices, home healthcare items or perhaps for transport to take 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 medical treatment. Finally, nursing facilities or old folks’ home are typically a last recourse for Singaporeans. Sending your in accordance with a property is not an easy or pleasant decision since most don’t want to live out their last days this way. It’s also more costly than a live-in helper. Often, those who go for this have no choice because the elderly who definitely are ill or disabled and require 24/7 care that the family cannot provide.
There are a few 70 nursing homes in Singapore. Some are very nothing more than a bed and medical treatment, and also have given old folks homes the bad rep it offers. But there are homes that have a much more holistic care strategy, with activities iupstd stimulate the body and mind, including NTUC Health An Elderly Care Facility, ECON An Elderly Care Facility and Orange Valley. Normally they cost $1,200 to $3,500/month.
On the high end from the spectrum, there’s St. Bernadette Lifestyle Village where residents live independently and acquire to less burden on their kids, activities and games, while having quick access to health care via the 24-hour medical concierge. It costs a cool $3,650/month. At MOH-run public nursing homes and Medifund accredited private homes, you can offset the costs with government subsidies for residential services.