Are you a caregiver currently caring for your elderly parents? Or are you simply planning for your retirement years to ensure that you are able to receive affordable and quality healthcare? You might want to read on and find out which long-term care options is best suited for you or your loved one in terms of affordability and sustainability.
Many of us are concerned with the financial cost of growing older. The cost of growing older will only increase as we age and according to a 2016 study, elderly health care costs are expected to cost an average of $50,848 per person in 2030. In the 2017 National Day Rally speech, PM Lee Hsien Loong stated that on average our life-expectancy is 82, but we spend 8 years in ill-health. It is time to start planning and setting aside a part of our retirement savings for long-term care in the future.
What is Long-Term Care?
Intermediate and Long-Term Care Services (ILTC) are typically required by individuals who need further care after being discharged from a hospital or community-dwelling seniors who are frail and need care for their daily needs and supervision to ensure they do not fall. – Ministry of Health
Types of Long-Term Care Available in Singapore
Before deciding on which long-term care is the most affordable – consider the needs of your loved one and the type of care he/she requires. Fret not if you have any financial constraints because most intermediate and long-term care services are subsidised in Singapore.
There are various types of Long-Term Care options available in Singapore – the different categories of long-term care services can be split into three parts:
Institutional Care Services
Institutional care services are provided for patients who unable to care for themselves, or their family members are unable to provide care for them at home or in the community settings.
Nursing home are catered for seniors who need long-term care (issues with mobility and help with daily activities of living: showering, eating or dressing etc) because care could not be provided for them at home or in the community settings.
Community hospitals are for patients who require medical care for a short of period of time after their discharge from an acute hospital. Community hospital provides medical, nursing and rehabilitative therapy for your loved one to recover before going home.
Estimated Cost: Varies
How to Apply for Subsidies: Institutional Care
If you have any financial difficulties paying for the fees, here is how you can apply for subsidies (subsidies are means-tested), find out if you are eligible here:
For Nursing Homes: Approach a medical social worker or the nursing home staff for financial help in regards to paying the fees.
For Community Hospitals: Before admission, the community hospital will conduct a means-test, to check if you are eligible for subsidies.
Day Care Services
Day Care Services only care for your loved ones during the day — care recipients will return home to their respective families at the end of the day. – Silver Pages
Day Care Centre
If your elderly parent is relatively healthy and mobile, but requires supervision, you might want to consider enrolling in social day care centre. The social day care centre helps organise social and recreational activities for seniors with supervision during the day while you are at work or running other errands.
Estimated Cost: $400-$1500/month (Including transportation fees + Before subsidies)
Did you know that most social day care centres or senior activity centres registered under AIC are free? Check out how you can enrolled for MOH/AIC-registered day care services near your home here.
If your loved one had suffered from a stroke, heart condition or a fall, the rehabilitation centre provides physiotherapy/occupational therapy/speech therapy for your care recipient. Occupational therapy helps your loved one regain his or her abilities to do basic activities of daily living like eating, moving around and dressing themselves.
Check with your doctor if your loved one needs rehabilitation.
Dementia Care Centre
If your loved one has dementia, you might want to enroll him or her in a dementia care centre that helps to engage your loved one with social and recreational activities that helps slow down the progression of the disease. Dementia care centre helps to support caregivers who are working during the day.
How to Apply for Subsidies: Day Care Centre Services
If you have financial difficulties in providing quality long-term care for your loved one, most MOH-funded institutional and day care centres services are subsidised. Find out which service provider near you is a MOH-funded service provider here.
(2) Meet Admission Criteria
(3) Enrolled in a MOH-subsidised service provider
STEP 1: To enroll in subsidised institutional or day care services, request for a referral letter through a medical social worker or a hospital, polyclinic or family service centres that your loved one goes to his or her medical appointments.
STEP 2: After enrolling in a MOH/AIC subsidised institution or day care service of your choice, approach the staff to apply for subsidies. Subsidies are also means-tested according to your total income and the number of people in your household. Find out more if you are eligible for subsidies here.
Home Care Services
Home care enables your loved one to receive medical/non-medical care in the comforts of your own home. – Silver Pages
Home Care (For medical procedures/ Respite care)
If your loved one requires higher level of care (needs nursing procedures i.e catheter change, wound management or a feeding tube change), you might want to consider engaging a professional nurse to care for their needs instead of a domestic worker.
Estimated Cost: Ranges from $600 – $1000/month (Before subsidies)
Care Aide/ Domestic Worker (Non-Medical Help/ Respite Care)
If your loved one does not require medical care, but requires supervision at home (i.e. to prevent falls etc) hiring a non-medical care aide or a domestic worker* will be helpful,
*Many caregivers hire domestic workers to aid in their caregiving duties. If your loved one is fairly mobile and healthy, having domestic worker to help out with simple tasks, household chores and companionship is ideal.
Estimated Cost: $600-$850/month (Live-in Domestic Helper), $21/hr for Jaga-Me’s care aide (Part-Time)
How to use HomeCare Services more cost-effectively
Many caregivers have the misconception that Home Care services are expensive. But, engaging in Home Care Services can be sustainable in the long-term.To engage a professional nurse for long hours is not cost-effective for both our customers and healthcare professionals.
To ensure that the quality of care received is cost-effective and sustainable, Jaga-Me provides caregiver’s training to a domestic helper or a family member. With proper caregiver’s training, caregivers are well-equipped with the skill-set to provide proper quality non-medical care to your care recipient.
An alternative would be to prepay for upcoming home care visits. This is ideal if your loved one requires regular medical care and visits from Jaga-Me’s healthcare professionals. You will be able to save 10% if you prepay a minimum of $1000 worth of services. Find out more about Jaga-Me’s Packages here.
3) Apply for Subsidies: Home Care
STEP 1: You will need to get a referral letter from a hospital, polyclinic or general practitioner that your loved one goes for their medical appointments.
STEP 2: Approach the service provider or a medical social worker from the hospital to apply for subsidy. Subsidies are also means-tested according to your total income and the number of people in your household. Find out more if you are eligible for subsidies here.
At Jaga-Me, we believe in making healthcare accessible and available to everyone. We provide personalised and curated care for your loved ones. If you need a trained medical escort to accompany your loved ones for their medical appointments or a trained nurse to do nursing procedures in the comfort of your home, let Jaga-Me share your caregiving responsibility.