THE Ministry of Health (MOH) will be launching a slew of initiatives to help seniors age better both at home and in the community.
Senior Minister of State Dr Amy Khor announced that a new integrated care package bundling home and daycare services from the same provider will be launched as part of a Home and Community Masterplan.
“Some three eldercare providers will be offering these packages with a capacity of over 300 places in the pilot phase. If successful and well received by caregivers, we will scale up the packages,” said Dr Khor during the budget debate in Parliament on 13 April.
Dr Khor also noted the need to “train and assess a new ‘corps’ of domestic elder carers so that they can anchor good care for seniors at home”.
MOH will develop a programme that includes four days of classroom learning and on-the-job training to ensure the domestic workers’ eldercare competence.
These pre-trained elder carers can then be deployed to families in need.
In addition, under a pilot Integrated Operator (IOP) Scheme, MOH will appoint a single operator for ‘three-in-one’ eldercare services comprising nursing homes, eldercare centres and home-care services.
“Going forward, we need to better integrate different forms of aged care services so that seniors can receive continuous, seamless and person-centric care even as their care needs evolve,” said Dr Khor.
And seniors who embrace lifelong learning will also be pleased to know that the new National Silver Academy will offer over 10,000 places in 500 courses this year offered by post-secondary education institutions and Voluntary Welfare Organisations.
Singaporeans aged 50 and above can register starting from May 2016.
Said Dr Khor: “We hope that the National Silver Academy can not only fulfill seniors' aspirations to keep learning, but also help shape a new mindset regarding ageing.”
These courses are non-examinable and seniors can sit in the same classroom while learning together with regular students.
“I think having seniors learn with younger students in the same classroom will foster inter-generational interactions and at the same time inspire our younger generation that learning does not stop at any age,” added Dr Khor.