Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Ms Rachel Ong
MP for West Coast GRC
Question No. 1054
To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the current percentage of seniors aged 65 years and above staying alone are connected to befriending or social services with regular check-ins; (b) how does the Government identify and update the database of seniors staying alone; and (c) what is the implementation progress of the new eldercare centre service model rolled out in May 2021 specifically in the befriending initiative.
In 2020, there were 63,800 seniors aged 65 and above living alone. Not all of them require support. Befriending services provide psycho-social support to vulnerable individuals who have limited family or social support and are at risk of social isolation. Currently, there are over 10,500 befriendees supported by the various befriending programmes funded by MOH.
Under the new Eldercare Centre service model that was rolled out in May 2021, Active Ageing Centres (AACs) and Active Ageing Care Hubs (AACHs) work with the Silver Generation Office (SGO) to proactively reach seniors in the community through outreach activities such as home visits. Collectively, they match seniors at risk of social isolation with befriending services, and regularly update their databases of engaged seniors.
MOH has onboarded 60 AACs and AACHs onto the new service model in FY21. These currently oversee around 145,900 seniors, including about 3,500 befriendees. We are on track to onboard at least 200 centres by FY24.