Efforts to improve meal delivery and medical escort services for frail seniors

We thank Mr Foo Kwang Sai for his letter (Changes needed in community eldercare services; Oct 24).

The Medical Escort and Transport (MET) and Meals-on-Wheels (MOW) services support frail seniors who need assistance with their daily living activities to live and age well in the community. These seniors typically have little or no caregiver support.

Currently, there are nine MET providers islandwide, and over 2,000 trips are made with seniors to polyclinics and specialist outpatient clinics each month.

The MET providers have expanded their capacity over the years, and the Agency for Integrated Care is working closely with its Community Care partners to explore new ways to meet growing demand.

For instance, we are working with taxi and private-hire car companies to offer more transport options, and increasing the number of trained volunteers and workers to accompany the frail seniors.

Seniors who need support with meals can turn to six MOW providers for assistance.

These organisations deliver some 4,400 meals daily to seniors' homes. These meals are suitable for diabetics or those on soft diets. Some providers may provide further meal options, depending on the seniors' requirements.

Going forward, we plan to bring on board more food caterers to offer more MOW choices for our seniors.

Providers are required to adhere to a standardised set of policies but we allow for providers to customise their services to better suit the needs of their clients.

Nevertheless, we agree that more can be done. Together with our Community Care partners, we will continue to step up quality improvement efforts for eldercare services.

Seniors and caregivers can speak with their care providers to share feedback on their services. They can also call the Singapore Silver Line on 1800-650-6060 to do so.

More information about the two services and the partners offering them is available at www.silverpages.sg

Seniors with financial difficulties are eligible for means-tested subsidies.

Andy Seet

Director

Corporate and Marketing Communications

Agency for Integrated Care

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2017, with the headline 'Efforts to improve meal delivery and medical escort services for frail seniors'. Print Edition | Subscribe