It is a known fact that taking care of our ageing parents or relatives is a cultural norm here in Singapore and other conservative Asian nations. But due to our ever-evolving society, there has been a shift in these behaviors that have influenced young people to look to alternative ways in taking care of their elderly family members. One of these ways is through elderly day care.
What is elderly day care?
Elderly day care is essentially a planned programme of activities meant to provide seniors with supervised care and opportunities to socialise in a centre-based group setting, all while still receiving the necessary health services that they require.
Day care centres for the elderly categorise their services based on the needs and wants of the client. There are programmes tailored towards social and recreational services and those that are more geared towards therapy and medical services. These centres usually operate in the daytime during weekdays, but special arrangements can be made for those who require these services during the weekends or in the evenings.
How is day care for the elderly different to nursing homes?
Many may confuse elderly day care with nursing homes due to their undeniable similarities. However, there are still distinct characteristics between the two that tell them apart.
When it comes down to what they have in common, both elderly day care centres and nursing homes typically provide daytime care, social and recreational activities, meals and transportation, and support with activities of daily living (ADLs). However, elderly day care centres do not provide nursing care and 24-hour caregiving the same way that they do in nursing homes.
Day care centres for the elderly are seen as temporary, short-term assistance or relief while nursing homes provide more permanent and long-term elderly care solutions.
Types of elderly day care centres
Senior Day Care
Just as its name suggests, senior day care centres essentially provide daytime supervision to the eldery in a professional care setting. This daily short-term assistance will allow seniors to be taken care of when their family members are at work during the day or if their caregivers require some time off.
Generally, senior day care activities involve arts and crafts and daily exercises that allow for social interaction between the elderly, as well as basic care needs with regards to nutrition management and medication reminders.
Dementia Day Care
Caring for persons with dementia can be a challenge without being equipped with the necessary tools and information, but this is where dementia day care comes in. Dementia is the general loss of cognitive functioning that encompasses thinking, remembering, reasoning and other behavioural abilities that are needed in a person’s day-to-day life. This medical condition is common amongst people over the age of 65, but can also be developed at a younger age.
Dementia day care is designed to slow down the deterioration of an individual’s physical and mental functions. This elderly day care programme is targeted at seniors with dementia and aims to help them stay active in both the mind and body through specially designed activities like art and colouring therapy, music therapy, reminisce therapy, mind-stimulating games, physical activities that encourage movement and coordination, and sometimes even intergenerational activities.
Respite care services provide short-term relief for primary caregivers from their daily caregiving duties. While this service is typically provided as a day care option, it can also be arranged for several days or even weeks if the caregiver goes on leave and returns to their home country momentarily.
Some of the services provided under respite day care programs include nursing care for the elderly as well as physical and social activities. You may also opt for in-house or out-of-home respite care depending on your needs and preferences. The idea of respite care ultimately stems from the belief that family caregivers need some rest and time to recharge too. The nature of their jobs are not easy and can be physically and mentally demanding. Having respite care as a viable option will allow them to take care of their own needs and avoid caregiver burnout.
This programme is made to help seniors with physical disabilities and impairment on their road to recovery through personalised occupational therapy and physiotherapy sessions. Apart from personalised one-on-one sessions, some elderly day care centres also provide activities from group exercises and games, and recreational activities in their day rehabilitation programmes.
If your loved one has spinal cord injuries; strokes and fractures; parkinson’s disease; or has just been discharged from the hospital and needs rehabilitation, this may be a programme you would want to consider.
Top Elderly Day Care Centres in Singapore
Orange Valley Nursing Home
With 5 nursing homes across the Island, Orange Valley is one of the country’s biggest private nursing homes that offers comprehensive eldercare services that range from residential nursing care, home care, as well as caregiver training. They also supply medical and healthcare equipment.
The Longevity Day Care programme at Orange Valley provides maintenance day care, social interaction and activities, and rehabilitation on demand to maintain the physical and psychosocial wellbeing of seniors. Some of these activities include maintenance exercises to keep them active during the day and cognitive-engaging programmes that will keep their mind stimulated as they interact with their peers at the same time.
This programme is available both half-day and full-day, and is open to seniors who are ambulant or semi-ambulant. Individuals who are neither ambulant nor semi-ambulant will have to be considered on a case-by-case basis by the management.
- Services: Longevity day care, home care, residential nursing care, and senior activity centres
- Website: https://www.orangevalley.sg/
- Location: Marsiling, Changi, Simei, Clementi, Balestier, and Sims Avenue
- Tel: 6499 4699 / 6266 3053
- Visiting hours: 8.30am to 8.30pm daily
St. Luke’s ElderCare
St. Luke’s ElderCare Centre is a healthcare provider that specialises in a full-range of senior care services in 22 locations islandwide. Their centre-based services range from maintenance day care, dementia day care, day rehabilitation and respite care, which aim to stimulate the social, physical, and psychological well-being of seniors.
At St. Luke’s ElderCare, their unique care approach gives the elderly a ‘home away from home’ experience that is centred around empowering seniors to make their own choices according to their lifestyle and interests. For instance, seniors will be able to make their own snacks during tea break with their own kitchen appliances and are even encouraged to come in home clothes to help them feel comfortable.
- Services: Centre-based nursing, day rehabilitation, dementia day care, maintenance day care, respite care service, wellness programmes
- Website: https://www.slec.org.sg/
- Location: Ang Mo Kio (2 Ang Mo Kio Street 23)
- Tel: 6390 9368
- Email: [email protected]
- Operating hours: 7am to 7pm from Monday to Friday
AWWA is a local social organisation dedicated to helping people from various walks of life and empowering them to lead independent and dignified lives. Since its conception in 2015, AWWA has served over 16,000 persons across various life stages and developed 22 programmes designed to help youths, persons with disabilities, seniors, and other members of the community.
Their specialities for senior services are in dementia day care, rehabilitation day care, and integrated home and day care.
- Services: Dementia day care, day rehabilitation, integrated home and day care, senior community home, senior activity centre
- Website: https://www.awwa.org.sg/
- Location: 9 Lorong Napiri
- Tel: 6511 5200
- Email: [email protected]
NTUC Health Senior Day Care (Silver Circle)
Previously known as Silver Circle, NTUC Health has over twenty day care centres for the elderly in Singapore and takes care of 1100 happy seniors in their facilities each year. Their day care centres allow the elderly to receive essential care services while enjoying specially designed activities in a group setting all at the same time. In 2017, they were a recipient of the ‘Best Day Care Programme Award’ from the Eldercare Innovation Awards 2017 for their “dynamic centre-based activities and programmes which improve the overall wellbeing for older adults”.
What makes their Senior Day Care programme unique is their occasional intergenerational activities that allows younger children and seniors to interact with one another and cultivate values such as empathy, compassion and respect for the elderly. From baking to arts and crafts activities, seniors who have undergone this programme in the past, mostly those with mild to moderate dementia, have enjoyed spending time with the children. Apart from the Senior Day Care programme, NTUC Health also covers Dementia Day Care and Day Rehabilitation for the elderly.
- Services: Senior day care, dementia day care and day rehabilitation
- Website: https://www.ntuchealth.sg/senior-day-care/
- Location: NTUC Health operates their senior day care centres across 23 locations islandwide.
- Tel: 6715 6762
National Council of Social Service (NCSS) Day Centres
The National Council of Social Service (NCSS) is governed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and provides a plethora of social services for children and youth, adults with disabilities, persons with mental health conditions, caregivers, as well as seniors.
Their day care centres provide the elderly with daytime care and supervision with a focus on the engagement of seniors through meaningful hands-on activities such as handicraft work and karaoke. In the same way, their Dementia Day Care and Hospice Day Care programmes are also available at NCSS Day Centres for persons with dementia and those with life-limiting illnesses.
Alternatively, Senior Activity Centres (SACs) are also open to vulnerable seniors residing in one- or two-room flats that live within a service boundary. These drop-in centres are hubs for seniors to visit during the day and enjoy recreational and social programmes, where they can also receive complimentary support services.
- Services: Senior day care, dementia day care, and hospice day care
- Website: https://www.ncss.gov.sg/GatewayPages/Social-Services/Senior/Day-Centres
- Location: Ulu Pandan Community Building (170 Ghim Moh Road, #01-02)
- Tel: 6210 2500
Hovi Care prides itself for championing independence and self-reliance in each of their clients, just as seniors in Finland would do. Hovi Care is a family-run chain of elderly care service companies with six nursing homes in Finland and a senior day care centre right here in Singapore, making it their first overseas branch.
With their service pledge as “Own Your Life”, the Hovicare philosophy is valuing their clients’ individual choices and empowering the elderly to create new experiences for themselves each day. A few unique ways that they keep their clients engaged at their centres are through art, music, and horse therapy, which is something you cannot find anywhere else. From activity groups, social groups, brain training, and home care services, be assured that your loved one will receive top-notch and quality day care.
- Services: Senior social groups, home care, memory rehabilitation, and therapy services
- Website: https://www.hovicare.com/
- Location: Turf Club (100 Turf Club Road Horsecity, #01-02K)
- Tel: 8838 4330
- Email: [email protected]
The Salvation Army – Peacehaven Day Centres
Apart from their thrift stores, did you know that The Salvation Army also has day care centres for the elderly? The Salvation Army’s Peacehaven Day Centres provide seniors with holistic care through the full suite of care services under their Integrated Home and Day Care (IHDC) programme.
This specially designed programme offers a variety of centre and home-based services such as nursing, rehabilitation, psychosocial support, and home assessments. Each senior will then be supported by a case manager, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and medical social worker to create a care plan that is best suited for their needs, ensuring that they receive the best care possible.
- Services: home and day care programmes
- Website: https://www.salvationarmy.org/singapore/peacehaven_day_centres
- Location: Bedok & Changi
- Tel: 6445 1630 / 6449 7438
- Email: [email protected] / [email protected]
Lions Home For The Elders – Senior Care Centre (SCC)
Founded in 1980, Lions Home For The Elders was established with the aim to actively promote the best services and programmes for the ageing community in Singapore. Since its conception over thirty years ago with just 18 residents then, they have expanded tremendously with a total of 384 residents in their Bishan and Bedok South nursing homes.
Their specialisations lie in nursing and clinical care, dementia management, rehabilitation services, and scheduled respite care. But if you’re looking for an elderly day care facility, they also have their Senior Care Centre (SCC). This integrated facility focuses on centre-based nursing, maintenance day care, and social activities to enhance each individual’s physical mobility and social interaction in a community setting.
- Services: Dementia management, respite care, rehabilitation, 24-hour nursing and clinical care, senior care centres
- Website: https://www.lionshome.org.sg/
- Location: Bishan & Bedok South
- Tel: 6252 9900 / 6244 0667
- Email: [email protected]
Bo Tien Activity Centre for the Elderly
For seniors who are ambulant or do not require institutional care, the Bo Tien Activity Centre has daytime programmes that offer support to the elderly while their family members are at work or if their caregivers are on leave.
Health assessments are conducted regularly and family members are informed and advised to bring their loved ones for medical follow-ups if signs of abnormality appear. Besides nursing and medical support, seniors are also engaged through various centre activities like light leisure sessions, daily meals and tea breaks, and sometimes even community service programmes run by students from schools and other educational institutions.
Is Elderly Day Care Right For You?
If you think you could use the extra help, do consider engaging elderly day care services. Think of day care for the elderly as a conducive and supportive environment where seniors can thrive and feel empowered through the various activities designed especially for them. As we all get older, our responsibilities change and can become increasingly demanding. At the same time, our elderly family members may also require more support and attention.
Regardless of which type of elderly care centre you choose to engage with, make sure they are reliable and provide only the best caregiving services that are aligned with your needs.
Elderly Day Care: At Home or Day Care Centres?
For seniors who want to receive more personalised day care and may not be as comfortable being in a social setting, you may opt for home day care options instead. Home day care allows seniors to receive the assistance that they need from trusted and professional caregivers right in the comfort of their own homes. It encompasses a range of services from assisting with ADLs, post-surgery recovery, transportation services to medical appointments and treatment visits, as well as night care assistance.
Since the home environment is different from that of a day care facility, caregivers are trained to spot potential hazards in a client’s home and can recommend simple modifications to make the space more senior-friendly.
Furthermore, wait times for day care centres averages around 20 days, compared to home care providers who can match you with a suitable caregiver within 48 hours. Hence, on-demand home care services may be more suitable for families who require day care at short notice. Families can also engage short-term home care while they are making plans for more permanent care arrangement.
Learn more about home day care services and how you can get started here.
- Theseira, W. (2019). AVERAGE WAITING TIME FOR SENIORS TO ACCESS CARE SERVICES. Ministry of Health Singapore. Retrieved 27 August 2020, from https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/average-waiting-time-for-seniors-to-access-care-services/.