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01 Feb 2021

1st Feb 2021

NAME AND CONSTITUENCY OF MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Ms Sylvia Lim
MP for Aljunied GRC

QUESTION NO. 571

To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the current waiting time for admission to nursing homes; (b) how has COVID-19 impacted the admission of new cases into nursing homes; and (c) what options do families have to care for their ailing family members pending such admission.

Written Answer

Nursing home placements are prioritised based on care need. Seniors who require help and supervision in three or more activities of daily living such as feeding and toileting, and have weak family support are given priority. The waiting time for a subsidised nursing home bed is also affected by family preferences and available capacity.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, nursing homes continued to accept new admissions. Additional precautionary measures have been implemented to protect residents against COVID-19, including enhanced infection control and prevention practices, safe management measures and COVID-19 testing protocols for nursing home staff and residents. New admissions to nursing homes and residents returning from hospitals were also tested for COVID-19 and/or isolated prior to assimilation into general ward. The median waiting time for a nursing home bed has remained stable over the last few years at around one month.

While awaiting nursing home placement, the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) works with the seniors and their caregivers to make alternative care arrangements such as home-based and community services to support the senior. For example, seniors discharged from hospitals who require more time to finalise their long-term care arrangements may apply for the Interim Caregiver Service (ICS), which provides short term post-discharge custodial care for seniors, six days a week and 10 to 12 hours a day. Depending on their care needs, seniors can also make use of home care services such as home medical, home nursing, home personal care, meals delivery and medical escort and transport services. They may also apply for the Integrated Home and Day Care (IHDC) programme and have flexibility to receive home-based care services, centre-based care services, or a combination of both.

Seniors or caregivers who need help can approach AIC for further assistance.