Government, community help available for needy seniors

We thank Ms Ang Kah Chin for her feedback and concern for the seniors she saw selling tissue paper (Do more for seniors selling tissue paper at MRT station; Oct 17).

Low-income elderly persons who need financial assistance can approach any of our Social Service Offices.

The officers will assess their circumstances and provide assistance for their basic needs where required.

An application for assistance is considered individually, and the help could include cash and assistance with utilities, service and conservancy charges and rental fees. Clients may also be eligible for free or subsidised medical treatment.

Besides administering financial assistance, our officers also keep a lookout for individuals who are needy during their community walks, and engage them to check if they need assistance. In addition, the Social Service Offices collaborate with community partners such as Family Service Centres and eldercare service providers to identify individuals who might need help.

For vulnerable seniors, there are services set up by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Health to ensure that they remain socially active, connected and linked up with social or healthcare services.

For example, senior activity centres organise activities for and reach out to seniors who may be at risk of social isolation.

Cluster support services, senior care centres and the Care Close to Home programme also help seniors with little or no family support to address their social and health needs. Those with care needs can also qualify for means-tested subsidies for aged care services such as home-based care, as well as day care and rehabilitation services.

We encourage members of the public to help persons they come across who may be in need.

For instance, they can approach these individuals to better understand their situation, and if these persons require help, they could contact ComCare Call on 1800-222-0000 or advise them to approach the nearest Social Service Office or Family Service Centre.

Denise Low (Ms)

Director

Service Delivery and Coordination Division

Social Policy and Services Group

Ministry of Social and Family Development

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2017, with the headline 'Government, community help available for needy seniors'. Print Edition | Subscribe