Caregiving can be a long and demanding journey. More often than not, we could use a helping hand, whether for the short run or in the long term.
There are many elder care services available in Singapore. If you’re looking for extra help and are figuring out which one best suits you and your loved one, we are here to help. Read on to learn more about the various types of elder care services in Singapore, including day care centres, home care and nursing homes.
What services do the elderly need?
Here are some things that our loved ones may need support with as they approach their golden years:
- Activities of daily living, including showering and meal preparation
- Nursing procedures
- Medical care
- Rehabilitation therapy, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy
- Medical escort and transportation services
- Medication delivery
- Home modification
What does elder care cost?
The cost of elder care depends on your care arrangement. Before subsidies, nursing homes and old folks homes cost approximately $1,200 to $3,500 a month, day care centres may cost about $900 to $1,500 a month and home care services can range from $20 to $25 an hour.
In addition to the cost of elder care services, you should also factor in the cost of doctor visits, transportation and more. These costs often add up to a sizeable amount. Thankfully, there are subsidies available for those who need it. Learn more about the financial subsidies you can tap on as a caregiver here.
Elder Care Service 1: Day Care for Elderly
When you’re at work and don’t want your loved one left at home during the day, elderly day care can be an option. Trained professionals can provide supervision and elder care, and offer social and recreational activities such as karaoke and handicrafts.
These programmes help seniors stay physically and mentally active and allow them to socialise with others instead of staying home alone. Meals and transport can be arranged as well.
Elderly Day Care Centre
Caregivers who are concerned about their loved one’s well being while they are out for work can consider day care centres. Day care centres provide full-day programmes that help to maintain a senior’s health and wellbeing, assist them with activities of daily living and provide them with opportunities to socialise with peers as well. Some centres may also have talks and support groups to empower caregivers to continue caring for their loved ones.
- Cost: between $400 and $1,500 per month (before subsidies)
Dementia Day Care Centre
Individuals with dementia may require specialised care and a comforting home environment to slow the progress of their condition. Dementia day care centres have programmes that are tailored to benefit seniors with dementia, focusing on cognitive stimulation and the preservation of personal identity.
- Cost: between $900 and $1700 per month (before subsidy)
Day Hospice Care
Day hospice care centres have a team of trained professionals who provide medical, nursing and psychosocial care to individuals who are terminally ill, helping to manage their pain and symptoms and improve their quality of life. Oftentimes, these centres will also guide caregivers on how to deliver care to their loved ones at home and provide bereavement support.
- Cost: between $10 and $15 per visit (before means-testing)
Day Rehabilitation Centre
Through physiotherapy and occupational therapy, day rehabilitation centres help seniors maintain and regain strength and mobility, allowing them to perform activities of daily living independently and remain active in the community. Many of these centres have specialised equipment and licensed therapists to facilitate the rehabilitation sessions.
- Cost: up to $160 per session (before subsidies)
Senior Activity Centre
Conveniently located at the void decks of HDB flats, seniors can visit senior activity centres (SACs) in the day and take part in programmes and activities designed to help them stay mentally and physically active alongside other seniors in the neighbourhood.
These centres also hold basic health prevention programmes such as dementia screening and collaborate with hospitals to provide community nursing care. Seniors and families can also obtain more information on government schemes and referral to services relevant to elder care at these centres.
- Cost: free for centres organised by AIC; between $250 to $1,200 per month for privately run centres (before subsidy)
Day care centres are generally suitable for seniors who are more mobile and family caregivers who are busy with work during the day. Pick the care arrangement that best meets you and your loved one’s care needs and preferences.
Elder Care Service 2: On-demand Elderly Home Care
Have peace of mind when you get a trained caregiver to care for your loved one in the familiarity and comfort of home.
Home elder care services include medical services, nursing care and support with activities of daily living such as showering, companionship and escort to medical or social appointments. These certified caregivers can also help those with conditions like dementia or diabetes. Rehabilitation therapy such as physio-, occupational and speech therapy can be conducted at home too.
Home elder care services are typically flexible. For example, Homage can accommodate short to long-term use, 24 hours or overnight help, all without a lock-in contract. This means you book only the hours you need.
Home Personal Care
Professional caregivers can take care of your loved one’s everyday needs in-home, which may include showering, meal preparation, medication reminders and engaging them in activities to stay mentally and physically healthy.
There are also caregivers who are trained and/or experienced in caring for seniors with conditions such as stroke and Parkinson’s. For example, some of our Homage Care Professionals attended a 3-day course by Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA) to better understand the best way to care for seniors with dementia.
- Cost: from $21 per hour
Home Nursing Care
Qualified nurses can perform nursing procedures for your loved ones in the comfort of home. This includes simple procedures such as nasogastric tube feeding and tracheostomy suctioning, to more complex ones like wound dressing, injection and stoma bag management.
- Cost: from $24 per hour
Home Medical Care
Seniors who are less mobile can have the convenience of consulting a medical doctor at home by getting a house call doctor or through a teleconsultation. Whether you need a consultation or a routine medical check-up, you can have them all done at home. Medication can also be delivered to your doorstep.
- Cost: from $20 per hour
Families can engage home therapy services to enable seniors to live independently and age-in-place. Trained physiotherapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists can do house visits and help your loved one regain mobility without stepping out of home.
- Cost: from $180 per hour
Home Palliative Care
Singaporeans have expressed that we prefer to spend our final days at home surrounded by our loved ones, yet fewer than 1 in 4 were able to do so. With home palliative care, more of us will be able to enjoy a better quality of life towards end-of-life with pain control, symptom relief and nursing care, all in the familiar environment of home.
- Cost: from $24 per hour
Whether you need a trusted individual to bring your loved one to a medical appointment or an additional helping hand to transfer and care for a loved one with limited mobility at a social event, medical escorts can help. Trained medical escorts will ensure your loved one’s safety throughout the appointment, bringing them from your doorstep to the destination and back.
- Cost: from $21 per hour
Meals on Wheels
If you are concerned about your loved one missing meals while you are away, consider engaging meals-on-wheels, a meal delivery programme that delivers daily food to the elderly who are unable to buy or prepare meals and have no caregivers to assist them.
- Cost: from $4.80 per meal (before subsidies)
Among the different elder care services, home care is the most fuss-free option. Most services do not require referrals from medical personnel and care can be arranged on short notice. With Homage, your first visit can start within 1-3 days of your request.
Elder Care Service 3: Residential Intermediate & Long-Term Care
If your loved one needs skilled nursing care, rehabilitation therapy and/or assistance with daily living in the long-term, residential care can be a feasible option.
Upon hospital discharge, your loved one may be referred to a community hospital for a short period of continuing care. Community hospitals have a team of licensed medical professionals who are able to provide medical, nursing and rehabilitation care for your loved one in the short-term.
Chronic Sick Units
Chronic Sick Units support seniors with advanced and complicated medical condition(s) who need regular long-term medical and skilled nursing care, including individuals with tracheostomy who require frequent suctioning or those with complex wound care needs.
Nursing homes provide various elder care services including nursing care, physiotherapy, dietary services, and dental care. They are run by trained nurses, available around-the-clock. Residents often follow a strict routine and schedule at the homes. Some homes also provide care for seniors with dementia or stable psychiatric conditions. Learn more about the top nursing homes in Singapore and what you should look out for to ensure it best meets the needs of you and your loved one.
- Cost: between $1,200 and $3,500 per month (before subsidies)
Many nursing homes offer respite care options for families who need short-term care support. Trained caregivers and nurses will take care of the daily living needs of the elderly round-the-clock. This is especially useful for caregivers who need a break or when the foreign domestic worker is away. Usually, care recipients will be required to stay for at least 7 days or up to 30 days in a calendar year.
- Cost: between $2,000 and $3,600 per month (before subsidies)
There are subsidies available for many of these elder care options but most will require you to undergo a means-test to determine the amount of subsidies you are eligible for. Learn more about the financial grants and subsidies available for care recipients and caregivers in our elder care financial guides.
Eldercare isn’t a walk in the park and we understand that it’s not easy to cope with these challenges alone. We all need support at some time so if you do, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
- 77% of Singaporeans wish to die at home. (2014). [Ebook]. Singapore. Retrieved from http://lienfoundation.org/sites/default/files/Death%20survey%20Presser%20Final%20-%20Combined_0.pdf