We thank Madam Huan Ai Min and Mr Soh Swee Kiat for their letters (Provide short-term help when maids go on leave, 20 Feb; and Have maids on standby for short-term help, Feb 23).
We understand that caregivers may need short-term help even as they fulfil their caregiving commitments. For instance, they may need time to attend to their own needs, or when their regular caregiving arrangements are not available.
Various home-and institution-based respite care services are available to support caregivers in such instances.
Caregivers can utilise respite care services available at 12 eldercare centres if they need a few hours off on weekends. Caregivers to those with dementia or cognitive impairment can tap eldersitters to care for their loved ones at home. Those who require respite care for a longer period can consider residential care options which are available in over 40 nursing homes for stays of several days up to a few weeks.
New respite care options will also be rolled out this year as part of the recently announced Caregiver Support Action Plan. For instance, we intend to pilot a night respite care service at selected nursing homes for seniors with dementia who experience behavioural and sleep issues at night.
We will also pilot a pre-enrolment system with senior care centres and nursing homes to shorten the time taken for caregivers to activate respite care services. Caregivers can register for these services and submit administrative details in advance with selected service providers.
For more information on respite care services and subsidies, call the Agency for Integrated Care on 1800-650-6060 or visit www.silverpages.sg. They can also visit any of the eight AICare Links located at public and community hospitals, or in Maxwell Road, to speak to a care consultant.
Ong Yunn Shing
Chief, Corporate Services Division
Agency for Integrated Care