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A range of accessible and affordable community care services to support seniors

We thank Ms Sheena Ramazanu for her suggestions (Time to ramp up homecare services for the elderly to age in place, May 24).

The majority of seniors today are relatively healthy and do not require intensive care services. For those who need care, the Ministry of Health (MOH) works with community partners to provide a range of home care and daycare services.

As the population ages, MOH has significantly expanded our aged care capacity. Since 2015, we have injected around 4,800 more daycare places, and 4,800 more home care places, to provide a total of 8,300 daycare places and 11,700 home medical and nursing care places as of end-2021. We will continue to monitor demand and inject additional capacity to improve accessibility where needed. 

To help seniors better access such services, we provide means-tested subsidies of up to 80 per cent. These are complemented by other financial support schemes, like the Home Caregiving Grant and Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund. Both schemes were recently enhanced to provide more support to seniors and their caregivers, especially those from lower-income households.

We also work upstream to empower our seniors to age actively. This helps them stay healthy for longer and reduces their rate of frailty. MOH is expanding our islandwide network of Active Ageing Centres, doubling the number from 119 to 220 by 2025. With these, seniors can more conveniently access a range of active ageing activities, befriending or buddying programmes, referral to care services and health-related initiatives.

The community also plays an integral role in supporting seniors to age in place, and we have put in place initiatives to activate community involvement. For instance, we are strengthening senior volunteerism to encourage mutual support, and creating safe and dementia-friendly communities to support persons living with dementia.

Those who require information on these services can call the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) hotline on 1800-650-6060 or visit any AIC Links located at public and community hospitals.

Martin Chew
Director (Aged Care Services), Ageing Planning Office
Ministry of Health

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