Seniors here will be able to receive services and take part in programmes at 280 eldercare centres across the island from next year, when current centres consolidate their services to cater to all elderly people, regardless of their income or frailty levels.
The centres will provide a range of services, including active ageing programmes and befriending, as well as information on and referral to care services, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday.
Today, there are about 130 senior activity centres catering primarily to residents of rental flats and studio apartments, and 150 senior care centres and active ageing hubs for seniors who are more frail and require additional care services, such as day care or community rehabilitation.
The transition to the new model will take place in phases between May next year and 2024 to give the eldercare centres enough time to gather their resources and level up their capabilities.
MOH said the eldercare centres will further the goals of helping seniors to age healthily, get timely access to quality care, stay connected to the community, and contribute as they wish. Seniors will be able to take part in regular programmes in their community and volunteer to help other seniors.
The eldercare centres will also engage seniors to ensure their needs are addressed. Those with poorer social support, for instance, will receive befriending services. Seniors with higher care needs will be referred to appropriate care.
Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health, said: "Longer life expectancy is a gift to celebrate, and we can do more of the things we enjoy if we stay fit and healthy.
"With the new baseline service model, seniors will have more opportunities to stay active and take charge of their health. Seniors and their caregivers will also be better able to navigate the social and health support available."