Abandonment cases are rare

In Singapore, it is rare and hard for someone to abandon a family member at a nursing home, disappear and cut contact, say those who run such facilities.

Jamiyah Singapore's director of fund-raising and administration M. Subramaniam said: "Now, everyone has an identity card, and Singapore is such a small country, we can easily identify and connect people with their relatives." He said that when issues arise, they are typically due to financial problems or disputes within the family and are mediated by social workers.

Jamiyah runs three homes - two for seniors and one for children - that care for around 500 people all together.

There were 69 nursing homes in Singapore last year, which accounted for around 12,800 beds.

There are no national statistics available on the number of nursing home residents whose family members are uncontactable.

Mr Thomas Tan, chairman of Catholic Welfare Services, said the problem of abandonment is not severe here as Singaporeans try to avoid placing family members in nursing homes unless they have no choice.

NOT IF THEY COULD HELP IT

I think, generally, Singaporeans are quite responsible people. Most of them may place family members in homes only because of circumstances beyond their control.

MR THOMAS TAN, chairman of Catholic Welfare Services, on people resorting to homes only if they have no choice.

 

The organisation operates five homes for seniors. Three are nursing homes, while two are shelters for those who may not have family to care for them.

"I think, generally, Singaporeans are quite responsible people," Mr Tan said.

"Most of them may place family members in homes only because of circumstances beyond their control."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2017, with the headline 'Abandonment cases are rare'. Print Edition | Subscribe