With an increasing number of people entering senior communities, the government has come up with a slew of measures to tide us through our golden years. However, many eligible seniors are unaware of the schemes available. With this handy guide of grants and subsidies, we hope that seniors will be able to fully utilise the support available.
As the number of people entering senior communities continues to grow, there exists an ever-increasing need to support Singaporeans in the later chapters of their lives. A study by ageing expert Dr. Angelique Chan found that the average 60-year-old man here will live 22 more years and spend three years of that time disabled in some way. The average woman of the same age, on the other hand, will live 26 more years, eight in disability.
The government has put in place various healthcare schemes, grants and subsidies to provide holistic support and enhance the mobility of seniors. However, many eligible seniors may be unaware of their existence thus not effectively utilising them.
Regardless of which stage of life you are in, this handy guide of grants and subsidies for seniors is sure to come in useful. Read on to further educate yourself and tap on to the slew of measures made available.
Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE)
According to the National Registry of Diseases Office (NRDO) of Singapore, the crude incidence rate of unintentional falls in year 2012 was 277.7 per 100,000 for adults aged 60 years and older. The incidence rate increases sharply with age. Many of these falls happen at home.
Falls are not only associated with greater morbidity and mortality in the older population, but are also linked to reduced overall functioning and early admission to long-term facilities. Moreover, with the proportion of older adults living alone increasing, steps must be taken so that seniors can go about their activities of daily living with more ease.
Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) provides subsidies for home modifications to create a safer and a more comfortable environment for the elderly. With the Government paying up to 95% of the cost, EASE is here to help you out with the cost of installing special tools around the house to prevent falls from happening.
EASE has proved to be very helpful for individuals like Mr Krishnamuthi and Mr Lam. Quoting Mr Lam, “It’s hard to say when these safety features will come in useful, so I thought I should get them just in case, especially since they’re subsidised by the Government.”
In order to be eligible for EASE, you have to fulfil one of the following criteria:
- Caregiver must be a Singaporean flat owner with a member of your family living with you who is 65 years and older, OR
- Caregiver is a Singaporean flat owner with at least one household member between the ages of 60 and 64 who needs help with at least three of the six activities of daily living (ADLs)*.
*ADLs: eating, dressing, transferring, toileting, walking/moving around
Plan ahead and find out about your financing options here.
Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF)
If you or your loved ones are 60 years old and above and require the help of assistive devices to remain independent and mobile, Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) will do just the job.
The SMF has been expanded to subsidize a wider range of devices and to include home healthcare items such as milk feeds and wound dressing for people who are currently cared for at home and nursing homes.
Mdm Ho, who has been left paralysed after two strokes and a hip injury, has benefited greatly from this scheme. With the expanded SMF, Mdm Ho was able to tap on the subsidies to buy a range of equipment to help her become more mobile and independent.
In order to be eligible for Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund, there are certain criteria to be met:
- Singaporean citizens aged 60 and above
- Pass required mean test by MOH
- Household monthly income per person <$1,800 OR Annual Value (AV) of residence reflected on NRIC of <$13,000 for households with no income
- Must be assessed by a qualified assessor on the type of devices or healthcare items required
Additional criteria may have to be fulfilled depending on the devices and items you are applying for. Learn more about how the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) can be of aid to you here.
Interim Disability Assistance Scheme (IDAPE)
For seniors who were not eligible for ElderShield at the time it was implemented, schemes like Interim Disability Assistance Scheme for the Elderly (IDAPE) provide monetary grants that can be used to cover expenses, with no restriction on the coverage, as long as it is used for the care of the disabled IDAPE claimant.
IDAPE can be used to make payments for:
- Medical bills
- Nursing costs
- Hiring a foreign domestic worker (FDW) as a helper to care for the disabled IDAPE claimant
To be eligible:
- Household monthly income per person <$2600
- IDAPE claimant must be unable to perform three or more of the six Activities of Daily Living, and certified by an approved assessor
- Born on or before 30 September 1932, OR between 1 October 1932 and 30 September 1962 (both dates inclusive), with pre-existing disabilities as of 30 September 2002
- You must be a Singapore Citizen living in Singapore
Click here for more information on IDAPE.
Long-term caregiving impacts the caregivers, care recipients, as well as family, friends and the larger community. We hope that this guide, coupled with our guide for caregivers will shed light on the help available to you, to better support you in your journey.