Dementia village adds to range of care options

An elderly man sits on a park bench.
An elderly man sits on a park bench.PHOTO: ST FILE

We refer to the commentary by senior health correspondent Salma Khalik (5 hard questions to ask about the 'dementia village' plan in Sembawang, July 25).

The Ministry of Health (MOH) takes into account the diverse profiles, needs and preferences of our seniors in planning for aged care services.

In recent years, MOH has worked with providers to scale up existing services as well as expand the range of care options to cater to the entire range of dementia patients, from mild to severe.

The dementia care village is a new concept which will add to this range of options.

Through the tender for this facility, we hope to enlist private sector ideas and innovation to develop a model of care that is less medicalised, and which promotes independence and autonomy.

This model could potentially be adapted for different environments and help improve care services in both subsidised and non-subsidised facilities.

The winning bidder is also required to set aside at least 25 per cent of its total residential capacity for subsidised clients, which will allow more seniors to access the new care model, regardless of income.

MOH is committed to enabling seniors to age in place. Since 2015, we have expanded centre and home care capacity by 5,000 places.

This includes dementia daycare which allows seniors to engage in recreational activities and cognitive stimulation programmes during the day.

For seniors who are more frail, purpose-built nursing homes are designed with the residential care of persons with dementia in mind.

To better support caregivers who care for seniors with dementia at home, we have respite care options at senior care centres and nursing homes.

An eldersit service where seniors with dementia are engaged in mind-stimulating activities at home is also available.

Charlene Chang

Group Director

Ageing Planning Office

Ministry of Health

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2019, with the headline 'Dementia village adds to range of care options'. Print Edition | Subscribe