The Government has taken concrete steps to enhance caregiver support to lighten the load of caregivers here, some of whom have given up their jobs and personal lives to assume the role, said Senior Minister of State for Health, Dr Amy Khor.
Speaking at a community event on Saturday, Dr Khor also said the Senior's Mobility and Enabling Fund was expanded this July, widening the scope of subsidies. Now, the elderly can apply for funding for consumables like catheters and diapers, as well as for a wider range of assistive devices, such as motorised wheelchairs. More than 2,000 households have received about $2 million worth of subsidies under the enhanced scheme.
Caregivers will also have some time to themselves with the government exploring ways to provide short-term respite. The Agency for Integrated Care rolled out a Nursing Home Respite Care pilot programme this May, with 15 nursing homes offering subsidised beds to help caregivers take care of their seniors for 7 to 30 days a years. So far, this has benefitted some 70 clients.
The recently-launched Drop-In Disability Programme by the Ministry of Social and Family Development also lets caregivers of people with physical or intellectual disabilites drop them off at four Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities Seniors Activity Centre for a few hours a day at no charge. Since it was started in August, over 10 clients have used the service.