New guidelines for day care and home care for the elderly

SINGAPORE - New guidelines for home and day care services were introduced by the Ministry of Health on Saturday. These serve as a reference for service providers to work towards delivering quality care for the elderly.

They spell out the expected outcomes in four main areas: the provision of holistic care services that are coordinated and comprehensive; the safety and quality of care; "informed and enabling care" such that beneficiaries and caregivers have autonomy in making care decisions; and organisational excellence.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said: "The guidelines are aimed at helping eldercare providers deliver care to our seniors in a way that is enabling, holistic and safe, so that our seniors can age with dignity and exercise autonomy regardless of their functional abilities." She was speaking at the official opening of St Andrew's Community Hospital's new senior day care centre, Joy Connect, in Kampong Glam.

The two sets of guidelines were developed by two industry-led workgroups, each comprising service providers, healthcare professionals and policy experts. MOH conducted a series of consultation sessions last year with service providers, seniors and caregivers on the proposed guidelines before finalising them.

MOH and the Agency for Integrated Care will be introducing a suite of programmes to support the day care and home care sectors in achieving these guidelines. These include implementation guides that provide greater detail on the intent and requirements behind each guideline, and new training programmes.

There are at least 17 home care providers supporting 5,000 patients and numerous day care centres across Singapore.