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Press Room

Sep 11, 2012
Update on measures to support frail elderly and their caregivers


Mr Ang Wei Neng
MP for Jurong GRC

To ask the Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports if he can provide an update on the measures announced earlier this year to address the needs of the increasing number of frail elderly as well as the support given to caregivers of these elderly.

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap
MP for Aljunied GRC

To ask the Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports with regard to the plan to build up to 40 Integrated Day Facilities (IDFs) serving up to 6,000 elderly by 2016
(a) whether the plan to build new IDFs in Bishan-Toa Payoh and Tampines in 2012 will proceed;
(b) whether the plan to upgrade six existing Day Care/Day Rehabilitation Centres to IDFs in 2012 will go ahead and where these Day Care/Day Rehabilitation Centres are;
(c) what criteria are used to determine IDF sites and whether these include convertible old town center facilities and areas having a higher than national average percentage of residents who are above 50 years old; and
(d) whether the Ministry will release a masterplan showing where and when the 40 IDFs will be built.

Oral Answer

Mr Speaker Sir, in March this year, my Ministry announced a series of initiatives to build up community- and home-based eldercare services to better support ageing-in-place. We are on track to roll out the measures progressively over the next few months.

Last month, MCYS unveiled the “3-in-1” concept for Integrated Day Facilities or IDF for short. First, the IDFs will offer integrated care services for the frail elderly, combining social day care, centre-based nursing, community rehabilitation and dementia care. Second, IDFs will provide information, coordination and referral services to better support families and caregivers. Third, the larger IDFs will provide gym and social space for community use.

By second quarter of next year, we should complete the building of two new IDFs - one in Tampines and the other in Toa Payoh, and the upgrading of six existing day care centres to IDFs. Another new IDF at Serangoon will be completed in the second half of 2013. By 2016, there will be about 40 IDFs serving up to 6,000 elderly. Details on the location of the remaining IDFs will be announced in the next two to three months.

My Ministry is also introducing social home-based care where the elderly at home can receive care services such as personal hygiene, housekeeping and laundry from a single care worker. We are working closely with our partners to recruit and train these care workers so as to launch this service in the 4th quarter of this year. By 2016, we will scale this service to benefit up to 4,000 elderly.

I am also happy to share that the Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW for short) Grant of $120 per month will come into effect from October this year. Applications have opened since 6 Aug. Households which employ a Foreign Domestic Worker to look after an elderly or person with disabilities and meet the eligibility criteria can apply for the grant.

To provide greater support for the vulnerable elderly in the community, my Ministry will organise the existing Seniors Activity Centres (or SACs for short) into a hub and spoke concept, where Anchor SACs will support clusters of SACs to strengthen and expand their reach. Anchor SACs will perform additional roles, such as closer monitoring through home visits, case management and counselling services for vulnerable elderly in the community. We expect the first six Anchor SACs to start operations by December this year. By 2016, we will have 16 Anchor SACs supporting some 39,000 elderly Singaporeans.

Mr Speaker Sir, these are some of the initiatives my Ministry is working on to better support our elderly in the community and their caregivers. In planning the number and distribution of eldercare facilities, we take into consideration the demographic profile of each region, the adequacy of existing services and the availability of suitable premises. I am confident that most Singaporeans support the vision of ageing-in-place and understand the need for eldercare services to be developed within our communities. We will continue to engage the local communities, refine the implementation strategies as well as review our services from time to time to ensure that they remain relevant and adequate.

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DATE PUBLISHED: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
LAST REVIEWED: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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