More day care centres for the elderly could be located in residential nursing homes, as different kinds of services are grouped together to serve patients better in the future.
Speaking at the official opening of nursing home Ren Ci @ Bukit Batok St. 52 yesterday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the Ministry of Health is investing in home and community care services even as it expands nursing home services.
"Through integration of services, we hope to support patients in a more seamless manner," he said.
The 257-bed Ren Ci @ Bukit Batok St. 52 has a senior care centre within its grounds, with services for the elderly who need day and dementia day care, and day rehabilitation services.
Run by Ren Ci Hospital, it has been operating for a year now and currently has 238 residents.
It can provide 30 places for general day care, 30 for dementia day care and 20 rehabilitation sessions daily.
Having all these services in one place has benefits, such as moreefficient use of manpower, as staff do not need to be hired separately, said Ren Ci Hospital CEO Loh Shu Ching.
"The therapists do not only run the day care services, they also look after the residents in the nursing home," she said.
There is also a gym in the centre, which Bukit Gombak residents can use in the evenings and on weekends, which makes the home's residents feel less isolated, she noted.
"The residents in the community will start to see our facility as a value-add, and not as an invader. They can also interact with our residents," said Ms Loh, who revealed that 250 residents have used the facilities.
MP Low Yen Ling, adviser to grassroots organisations in Bukit Gombak, noted that the population in the older estate is ageing faster than the national average.
"During my house visits, I do come across residents who need rehabilitation, and we will then introduce them to Ren Ci," said Ms Low.
In his speech, Mr Gan also said MOH would be working on new care models.
Last year, MOH launched two grant calls for new ideas in the delivery of home-based care, as well as programmes to delay the onset of dementia, and new ways that dementia patients could be cared for, he said.
The grant calls attracted close to 100 proposals from care and technology solution providers.