Nursing homes shouldn't keep residents' identity cards

An elderly man and wheelchair-bound woman in Geylang Bahru.
An elderly man and wheelchair-bound woman in Geylang Bahru.PHOTO: ST FILE

As a caregiver of an elderly parent with advanced dementia and other medical conditions, it breaks my heart to accept institutional care for my parent at a nursing home due to the deterioration of my parent's condition.

Having reached this difficult decision and found a suitable nursing home with bed availability, there are terms required in the application that I find disturbing.

It requires my parent's NRIC address to be changed to the address of the nursing home, and for my parent's original NRIC to be kept by the nursing home.

I was told that this is in accordance with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's (ICA) policy.

My parent has lived with me for many years, even after my marriage. Being required to surrender the NRIC, with the address being changed to the nursing home's, feels like a cutting off of ties.

I also am concerned about whether there are measures adopted by the ICA to ensure the safekeeping and security of the NRIC as well as that of any personal mail addressed to nursing home residents.

Instead of requiring that the address be changed and the card kept by the nursing home, perhaps a certified copy of the NRIC or a new elderly identity card issued by the Government should be given to the nursing home for identification purposes.

Helen Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2019, with the headline 'Nursing homes shouldn't keep residents' identity cards'. Print Edition | Subscribe