Range of care options is available to seniors

We thank Mr Lim Soon Teck for his feedback (Relook maid levy concessions; Aug 24).

Many seniors in Singapore wish to age in the comfort of their home and in familiar surroundings.

The foreign domestic worker (FDW) population in Singapore has grown significantly by about 40 per cent over the last 10 years, to 240,000 in 2017.

This is not sustainable.

To better support our seniors, the Government is strengthening home and community care options, including home medical and home nursing services, to cater to those who are frail and home-bound.

Between 2016 and 2020, the Ministry of Health aims to increase day and home care service capacity by 40 per cent.

There is also a range of schemes to support home-based caregiving, including FDW levy concessions.

Mr Lim had suggested that eligible households be allowed to hire two FDWs on concessionary levy to care for each frail elderly person so as to ensure the well-being of FDWs who are caregivers.

Families can already hire two FDWs if they deem it necessary. To be fair to all employers whose needs vary, each eligible care recipient may apply for one FDW to be on concessionary levy.

To ensure that caregivers, including FDWs, have sufficient rest, families can access respite care services at eldercare centres and nursing homes for periods ranging from a few hours to a month. These services allow care to be provided when FDWs have their rest days or go on home leave.

We will continue to review and improve the range of home-based support measures to meet the needs of seniors and their caregivers.

Members of the public with information on well-being issues of FDWs can write in to mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg or call the Ministry of Manpower on 6438-5122.

Caryn Lim (Ms)

Director, Foreign Manpower Unit

Ministry of Manpower

Lim Siok Peng (Ms)

Director, Corporate Communications Division

Ministry of Health

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2018, with the headline 'Range of care options is available to seniors'. Print Edition | Subscribe