Seniors to receive help at 280 eldercare centres regardless of income and health: MOH

The eldercare centres will proactively engage seniors to ensure that their needs are addressed.
The eldercare centres will proactively engage seniors to ensure that their needs are addressed.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - 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 persons, regardless of their income or frailty levels.

The 280 eldercare centres will become go-to points for seniors here, and provide a range of services such as active ageing programmes, befriending, and information and referral to care services, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday (Dec 7).

Today, there are about 130 Senior Activity Centres providing active ageing, preventive health and social support programming primarily to residents in rental flats and studio apartments, said MOH.

Another 150 Senior Care Centres and Active Ageing Hubs cater to 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, and this is being facilitated by MOH and the Agency for Integrated Care.

The eldercare centres will enhance support for seniors islandwide "regardless of their housing type, income, or frailty levels", said MOH.

"This would further our goals of helping seniors age healthily, having timely access to quality care, staying connected to the community, and contributing as they wish."

Seniors will be able to participate in regular programmes in their community and have volunteering opportunities to help other seniors.

The eldercare centres will also proactively engage seniors to ensure that their needs are addressed.

Seniors with poorer social support, for instance, will receive befriending and buddying services, said MOH.

Seniors with higher care needs will continue to be referred to the appropriate care services, such as home medical or home nursing, or centre-based care such as day care or centre-based rehabilitation services.

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."