Reduce impact of new rules on nursing-home residents

I read Sunday's report ("Small nursing homes feel the squeeze as new rules kick in") with trepidation, and worry about the impact the new licensing conditions would have on patients.

While I agree that there must be some form of regulation to ensure the safe and proper care of nursing-home residents, common sense and context must also rule.

In the unhappy event that small nursing homes have to close completely, what is to become of their residents?

As it is, there is already a shortage of beds in Singapore, as my recent experience has shown.

In the course of searching for a nursing home for our mother over the past three years, my sister and I have put her on waiting lists for every nursing home here. We were even told by one of the major ones not to leave our contact information, as it would not be calling us back.

While waiting, our mother resided in a nursing home in Johor Baru. While the JB nursing home was three times less expensive than Singapore's, we wanted to bring her back here, as the commute to JB to visit her was not a tenable option.

Finally, a vacancy became available at one of the smaller nursing homes mentioned in the report.

As many caregivers know, change is a difficult thing for many elderly and dementia patients.

For the well-being of our senior citizens and their caregivers, I ask that the Agency for Integrated Care take a collaborative approach with operators and families to work on this issue.

I am sure an amenable solution can be found, since all of us want the same thing for our senior citizens.

Michelle Low Mei Lin (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2016, with the headline 'Reduce impact of new rules on nursing-home residents'. Print Edition | Subscribe