Look into wider provision of respite care services

Recently, when my maid had to return to Myanmar urgently to attend to her ailing mother, my family felt stranded and desperate.

Fortunately, we stumbled upon Man Fut Tong Nursing Home's respite care service, which is not widely known in Singapore.

We found out that we could place my aged mother in the care of healthcare professionals for a few weeks while my maid was away.

This was a great relief to my family, or else we would have had to take extended urgent leave to look after my mother.

My family has benefited from such respite care and we hope that more can be done to educate the public about the availability of this option.

As many working professionals are now engaging maids to look after their young children and elderly parents, I can fully empathise with their stress and anxiety when their maids fall sick and/or have to return to their home country because of unexpected circumstances.

Respite care is a stop-gap measure that should be more widely promoted to the public.

Currently, there are only a few private nursing homes offering respite care services at non-subsidised rates.

I hope the Agency for Integrated Care and the Ministry of Health can look into making respite care services available at community hospitals and nursing homes at subsidised rates.

Dave Phua Peng Hwee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2015, with the headline 'Look into wider provision of respite care services'. Print Edition | Subscribe