More help for elderly poor, low-income families

Policies and laws will be reviewed to give greater support to destitute adults and better protect elderly folk who suffer abuse or neglect.
Policies and laws will be reviewed to give greater support to destitute adults and better protect elderly folk who suffer abuse or neglect.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

In the next five years, the destitute elderly will get more help to overcome their difficulties.

Policies and laws, such as the Mental Capacity Act, will be reviewed to better protect elderly folk who suffer abuse or neglect.

Destitute adults in welfare homes will also receive greater support, as the authorities streamline care standards in these homes.

Low-income and disadvantaged families will be given help to improve their home environment for their children's learning and development, so that the children's needs are met earlier.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday outlined these plans of his ministry for the next five years, in an addendum to the President's address.

NEEDS MORE COMPLEX

The social needs of our citizens and families are becoming more complex as the demographics, economics and family structures in Singapore change. Our social policies and services must evolve so that we can continue to nurture resilient individuals and strong families.

MINISTER FOR SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT TAN CHUAN-JIN

These efforts come amid a rising number of senior citizens who live alone, and shrinking family sizes.

Said Mr Tan: "The social needs of our citizens and families are becoming more complex as the demographics, economics and family structures in Singapore change.

"Our social policies and services must evolve so that we can continue to nurture resilient individuals and strong families."

For parents with children in pre-school, the Early Childhood Development Agency will continue to offer more childcare options that are affordable and of good quality, and increase the number of places.

The network of 24 social service offices was completed last month. Mr Tan said these offices will improve the coordination in planning and delivery of their services to needy residents in each town.

Mr Tan said everyone plays a part in caring for one another. "Through what we do and how we do it, the ministry hopes to nurture a culture and spirit of giving in Singapore."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2016, with the headline 'More help for elderly poor, low-income families'. Print Edition | Subscribe