Eldercare Services in Singapore: Daycare Centres, Home Care and Residential Care

Read on to learn more about the various types of elder care services in Singapore, including daycare centres, home care and nursing homes.

by Tiffany Ng

Caregiving can be a long and demanding journey. More often than not, we could use a helping hand, whether it is a temporal decision or for the long term.

If you are looking for additional help with an elderly loved one’s care, there are many types of eldercare services available in Singapore. Read on to learn more about the various types of elder care services in Singapore, including daycare 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:

How much does eldercare 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, daycare 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 into as a caregiver.

Daycare options for the elderly

When you’re at work and don’t want your loved one left at home during the day, elderly daycares 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.

1. Elderly Daycare Centre

Caregivers who are concerned about their loved one’s well-being while they are out for work can consider daycare centres. Daycare centres provide full-day programmes that help to maintain a senior’s health and well-being, 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)

2. Dementia Daycare 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)

3. 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)

4. 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) 

5. Senior Activity Centre

Conveniently located at the void decks of HDB flats, seniors can visit senior activity centres (SACs) during 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 referrals 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)

Daycare 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.

On-demand home care services

Have peace of mind when you get a trained caregiver to care for your loved one in the familiarity and comfort of home.

Home eldercare services include 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 physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy can be conducted at home too. 

Home eldercare services are typically flexible. For example, Homage can accommodate short to long-term use, including 24 hour or overnight help, all without a lock-in contract. This means you book only the hours you need.

1. Home Personal Care

Professional caregivers can take care of your loved one’s everyday needs at 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

2. Home Nursing Care

Qualified nurses can perform nursing procedures for your loved ones in the comfort of your 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

3. Home Therapy

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 the home.

Cost: from $180 per hour

4. Home Palliative Care

Singaporeans have expressed that they prefer to spend their final days at home surrounded by their 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 the end of life with pain control, symptom relief and nursing care, all in the familiar environment of home.

Cost: from $24 per hour

5. Medical Escort

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

6. 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

7. Meals on Wheels

If you are concerned about your loved one missing a meal while you are away, consider engaging in 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 eldercare 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.

Residential care for intermediate and long-term needs

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.

1. Community Hospitals

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. 

2. 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.

3. Nursing Homes

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 residential care facilities. 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 they best meet the needs of you and your loved one.

Cost: between $1,200 and $3,500 per month (before subsidies)

4. Respite Care

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.

Should you or someone you know need support with caring for an elderly loved one, we can help. 

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  1. 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
About the Writer
Tiffany Ng
Tiffany loves listening to stories, seeking random fun facts and exploring all things local. She started writing to spark joy and inspire kindness. In her free time, you can find her playing games with her grandparents or planning for her next big adventure on our sunny island.
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