For our older family members aged 65 and above, even the smallest fall can lead to serious injury that requires a long time to recover fully. According to the National Registry of Diseases Office, falls count for 40 per cent of injury-related deaths in Singapore. Just resting at home and icing the injury is not going to lead to smooth recovery as it can in younger individuals whose bodies can repair themselves faster. Physical rehabilitation for the elderly is thus important to reduce the risk of major injury and even death.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what rehabilitation for the elderly is, why it’s important and how it’s different from physiotherapy. We’ll also introduce ten of the best rehabilitation centres for the elderly in Singapore across different regions and price ranges so that you can choose what is best for your needs.
What is rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation is a program that aims to maintain and improve the general physical health of senior citizens. Rehabilitation is aimed at older people who are recovering from serious injury or illness. The goal of rehabilitation is not just to keep our seniors in good shape but to help them build up enough strength to prevent serious injury in the future. For the elderly, rehabilitation can be targeted towards achieving goals such as:
Reducing one’s risk of falling
Falls are a particular risk for the elderly as they can lead to serious injury that require an especially long time to heal, like fractured hips and broken bones. Studies have found that at least 300,000 senior citizens are hospitalised every year for hip fractures caused by falls.
Re-educate oneself to learn how to walk correctly again
People who have neurological conditions like stroke or Parkinson’s disease may experience significant difficulty in doing physical movements like walking, speaking, and controlling their hands. Learning how to walk correctly involves aligning your muscles and joints in such a way that they can be used in an effective way that lets your body move comfortably.
Improving confidence in everyday movement
Many older people become afraid of falling after having experiences of falls and become hesitant of moving around on their own. Rehabilitation can guide them towards achieving the confidence they need for daily functioning.
Maintaining and building up muscle strength
Without regular use or exercise, the muscles of the elderly will become weaker and waste away over time. It is important to use and build up these muscles so that they can continue to remain mobile. Speech therapy may also be included in rehabilitation to improve control as some older people may have difficulty speaking and swallowing.
What is the difference between rehabilitation and physiotherapy?
Both rehabilitation and physiotherapy focus on helping the body to gradually improve physical function. Physiotherapy can be a part of rehabilitation, and it can also be aimed at long-term medical conditions that don’t necessarily lead to loss of motor function. Such conditions include asthma, developmental delays, and temporomandibular jaw disorder (TMJ). Physiotherapy can also be done for people who don’t have any major conditions, such as those preparing for a major sporting event or even childbirth.
Physiotherapy also involves other treatment methods that may not be used in rehabilitation. For example, physiotherapy may involve hydrotherapy which involves exercising in a small shallow pool of warm water. Dry needling with acupuncture needles to treat inflammation and deep heating with ultrasounds to increase blood circulation may also be conducted as part of physiotherapy.
Why go to a rehabilitation centre?
A rehabilitation centre will be equipped with staff and facilities needed to carry out the necessary physical therapies. Some of our older family members can be frail after a major injury and if we do not know how to carry out the exercises properly, we may unintentionally prevent their recovery or even cause more injury. It might also be hard to find space in your home to conduct these exercises. The staff and equipment found at the rehabilitation centre can help your older family members more effectively with the exercises they need.
Top 10 rehabilitation centres for the elderly in Singapore
Here are ten rehabilitation centres that we recommend for physical rehabilitation for the elderly in Singapore.
1. Adventist Nursing & Rehabilitation Centre
Adventist Nursing & Rehabilitation Centre offers individualised active rehabilitation programmes for people with conditions like stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or spinal cord injuries. Home therapy sessions are also available for people who cannot attend sessions at the centre. The centre offers subsidised treatment and transportation fees for individuals from middle and lower-income backgrounds and cannot afford co-payment for MOH-sponsored treatment. The centre has two branches, one at Marsiling Drive and another at Pending Road, and is open on Mondays to Fridays from 7.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
2. Awwa Rehab and Day Centre
Awwa Rehab and Day Centre offers a variety of services for lower-income senior citizens including occupational therapy, speech therapy and centre-based nursing. Support is also given to caregivers and transport services available for seniors who might face difficulties going to the centre on their own. The centre also offers social games and recreational activities for senior citizens throughout the day. Awwa Rehab and Day Centre is located at 126 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and is open on Mondays to Fridays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
3. Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly
Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly provides physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nursing assessments for people who have recently been discharged from hospital for serious injuries. Social programmes are also available to assess patients who have completed rehabilitation at the centre to assist them with re-integration into the community. Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre also offers caregiving courses which one can sign up for under the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC). Courses are offered once a month and can be attended by not just Singaporean citizens and PRs but also foreign domestic workers who are looking after the elderly. The centre is open Mondays to Fridays from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. and is located 32 Simei Street 1.
4. Mount Elizabeth Rehabilitation Centre
Mount Elizabeth Rehabilitation Centre is located on the 18th floor of Paragon shopping mall. The centre offers a wide array of services with specialised rehabilitation targeting different parts of the body. Neuro-rehabilitation for people with balance dysfunction and multiple sclerosis, gait analysis to detect abnormal walking patterns, and vestibular rehabilitation for people with inner ear disorders are just some of the specialised services available. You can make an appointment by phone call or WhatsApp message at the numbers listed on their website.
5. National University of Singapore Day Rehabilitation Centre
The National University of Singapore Day Rehabilitation Centre provides rehabilitation for different groups of people including those with dementia and back and neck conditions as well as people who require cancer rehabilitation. Specialised podiatry, or foot treatment, services are also available for conditions like diabetic feet, flat feet, and skin and nail conditions on the feet. National University Hospital is located next to Kent Ridge MRT station on the National University of Singapore (NUS) campus.
6. Raffles Rehabilitation Centre
Raffles Rehabilitation Centre supports people with individualised treatment plans. These plans can cover several treatment options like swallowing therapy, the reduction of corns and calluses, and treatment for arthritic conditions. The rehabilitation centre is located on level 12 of the Raffles Specialist Centre and is open Mondays to Fridays from 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8.30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
7. Singapore General Hospital Rehabilitation Centre
Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Rehabilitation Centre offers outpatient consultations for physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. First consultation fees can range from $24 to $171 for Singapore citizens and PRs and from $50 to $425 for non-residents. SGH Rehabilitation Centre is located on level 4 of the SingHealth Tower at Outram Community Hospital and is open Mondays to Fridays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
8. St Andrew’s Community Hospital Day Rehabilitation Centre
St Andrew’s Community Hospital Day Rehabilitation Centre runs programmes conducted by physiotherapists and occupational therapists to help people who need additional therapy after being discharged from hospital. A referral is required from a hospital, general practitioner, medical specialist, or the St Andrew’s Community Hospital Clinic to book an appointment. Each therapy session at the centre is one and a half hours long and can be booked in the morning or afternoon for weekdays and in the morning only on Saturdays. The hospital is located at 8 Simei Street, and you can find the rehabilitation centre on level 1 of the
9. Tan Tock Seng Rehabilitation Centre
Tan Tock Seng Rehabilitation Centre provides outpatient rehabilitation services using innovative technology like robotic technology and virtual reality. A robotic arm is used to train arm movement through interactive games, while virtual reality games are used to engage and motivate people during movement re-training. The Tan Tock Seng Rehabilitation Centre is located at 17 Ang Mo Kio Ave 9 and is open Mondays to Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
10. Thye Hua Kuan Hospital Day Rehabilitation Centre
Thye Hua Kuan (THK) Hospital Day Rehabilitation Centre in Ang Mo Kio carries out an Adult Rehabilitation Programme for all adults living within a 5km-radius of their facilities. Motorised equipment training, severe disability assessment and community integration are just some of the services that the centre offers. The centre also offers home therapy and even telerehabilitation to assist individuals who require assistance with rehabilitation at home. THK Adult Rehabilitation Programme and Day Rehabilitation centre is located at 257 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4. Its operating hours are from 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Homage can help you with many areas of the help you would require for seniors going through rehabilitation. Do you need a trained escort to help your older family members go to their therapy appointments? Our medical escorts have got you covered. Physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy are services that our Care Pros can carry out as they are trained doctors and nurses. We can work through these exercises with you in the comfort of your home and develop a personalised Care Plan with you to give you targeted and efficient care. With Homage you can take the first step on your rehabilitation journey without fear.
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