Saturday, 24 November 2012

Affordable private home care for aged, disabled

2 private sector providers to offer 400 subsidised places
By Daryl Chin, The Straits Times, 23 Nov 2012

THE frail elderly and persons with disabilities can soon tap two private sector providers for subsidised home-care services.

This will take effect from Dec 17 and add an estimated 400 subsidised places.

Now, about 350 individuals enjoy subsidised care via three voluntary welfare organisations - NTUC Eldercare, Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities and Touch Community Services.

Under the scheme, trained staff go to the patient's home and provide services such as washing and bathing, housekeeping and engaging them in stimulating games such as sudoku.

The target is to extend home-care services to about 4,000 elderly people who are 55 and above, and to persons with disabilities by 2016.

Minister of State for Social and Family Development Halimah Yacob said: "This expansion of subsidised home-care services through the appointment of two private sector providers is in line with our long-term plans to expand home care to cater to our ageing population."

She added that on a more immediate note, it would also benefit families who need home-care services when a mandatory weekly day off for foreign maids takes effect from January.

The subsidy for such care is dependent on monthly household income.

For instance, a household earning $600 or less can get up to 80 per cent of the fee subsidised if they are Singaporeans, and 55 per cent if they are permanent residents.

Although fees differ among the service providers, this works out to an hourly rate of about $5 to $14, and $10 to $19 respectively, after the subsidies.

It was reported earlier this year that the Government is committing an estimated $80 million to this service.

Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities divisional director Satyaprakash Tiwari said the take-up rate has been very good since it implemented the scheme last month, with more than 200 people onboard already.
He said: "With stronger subsidies from the Government, our staff are able to give care on a daily basis, compared to the past where a household might be able to afford it only twice a week for the same amount," he added.

For more information, caregivers, families and persons needing care may contact the Centre for Enabled Living at 1800-8585-885 or visit

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