by S Ramesh, Channel NewsAsia, 11 Sep 2012
By 2016, Singapore will have about 40 integrated day facilities (IDFs) serving up to 6,000 elderly persons.
Speaking in Parliament today, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Chan Chun Sing said the details on the location of the remaining IDFs will be announced in the next two to three months.
By second quarter of next year, the ministry should complete the building of two new IDFs - one in Tampines and the other in Toa Payoh, and the upgrading of six existing day care centres to IDFs.
Another new IDF at Serangoon will be completed in the second half of 2013.
"In planning the number and distribution of eldercare facilities, we take into consideration the demographic profile of each region, the adequacy of existing services and the availability of suitable premises," said Mr Chan.
"I am confident that most Singaporeans support the vision of ageing-in-place and understand the need for eldercare services to be developed within our communities."
He added: "We will continue to engage the local communities, refine the implementation strategies as well as review our services from time to time to ensure that they remain relevant and adequate."
The MCYS will organise existing Seniors Activity Centres (SACs) into a "hub and spoke concept", where anchor SACs will perform additional roles such as monitoring seniors through home visits, case management and counselling.The anchor SACs will also support clusters of SACs to expand their reach to the elderly.
The first six anchor SACs are expected to start operations by December and there will be 16 anchor SACs by 2016 to support up to 39,000 elderly persons.
Mr Chan added that his ministry is also introducing social home-based care where the elderly at home can receive care services such as personal hygiene, housekeeping and laundry from a single care worker.
For this, MCYS is working closely with its partners to recruit and train the care workers so as to launch this service in the 4th quarter of this year.
By 2016, the ministry plans to scale the service to benefit up to 4,000 elderly persons.
Foreign domestic worker grants of $120 monthly will also come into effect next month.
The grants are given for households which employ a maid to look after an elderly or person with disabilities.