MSF starts public consultation on draft vulnerable adults Bill

The Ministry of Social and Family Development is seeking feedback on a proposed Vulnerable Adults Bill.
The Ministry of Social and Family Development is seeking feedback on a proposed Vulnerable Adults Bill. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) is seeking feedback on the proposed Vulnerable Adults Bill.

The Bill, if passed, will allow the State to intervene for the protection and safety of vulnerable adults, MSF said.

It seeks to address the needs of elderly residents, and people with disabilities who cannot care for themselves.

"By 2030, there will be more than 900,000 residents aged above 65, a fair number of whom would be single or have no children," said MSF. "Elderly who develop dementia may be unable to care for themselves. This is especially worrying for those who are living alone."

The number of elderly living alone is projected to increase from 35,000 in 2012 to 83,000 in 2030.

Persons with disabilities are also living longer, and more are expected to outlive their parents.

"Frail elderly and ageing persons with disabilities are especially vulnerable to abuse, neglect and self-neglect," said MSF.

While family members are the main caregivers, supported by community and social service agencies, the proposed Bill will allow the State to step in for high-risk cases.

MSF said that it has studied overseas jurisdictions, including that of Scotland, Canada and California, when drafting the Bill.

The draft Bill can be found at www.reach.gov.sg/VAA2016.

All interested members of the public can submit their comments on the draft Bill by 11.59pm on Aug 23 through e-mail (consultations@msf.gov.sg), fax (6708 7138) and post.

Letters can be mailed to:

Family Development Group

Ministry of Social and Family Development

20 Lengkok Bahru, #04-02

Singapore 159053