7 Easy Steps to Significantly Improve the Care for Your Elderly Parents in Singapore
Here at SilverAlly, after talking with our own caregiver clients, we have compiled these quick and easy tips to greatly improve the care you can provide for your senior parents! Read on to find out more.
1. Help Your Parents Apply for CHAS
The Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) subsidies enables all Singapore Citizens, including Pioneer Generation (PG) and Merdeka Generation (MG) cardholders, to receive subsidised treatment at many General Practitioners (GPs) and dental clinics.
If your parents do not fall into these 2 generations but meet the means testing requirements for the CHAS schemes, they can also enjoy CHAS subsidies for selected treatments. Help your parents apply for the CHAS Green/Orange/Blue cards here.
Remember to have your parents bring their CHAS/PG/MG cards along with them the next time they visit a clinic for their medical treatments!
2. Send Your Parents' Primary Caregiver For Caregiver Training
It takes less than a day to better care for your parents! Home-based and classroom-based caregiver training are available for basic homecare skills, as well as care for specific medical conditions like dementia and falls prevention. Choose from a curated list of courses under Agency for Integrated Care's Caregiver Training Courses e-calendar.
To offset the costs of training, you may apply for a $200 annual subsidy under the Caregiver Training Grant.
3. Bookmark These Pages:
Our eldercare guides and articles help you stay self-sufficient in providing the best care for your parents. We will update you on any latest developments in Singapore's eldercare community.
AIC's blog provides information on financial help and care services available for caregivers in Singapore. You also get handy tips on dealing with common issues faced by caregivers for the elderly.
Follow this guide and set up Google Alerts to receive weekly email updates on relevant news. This helps you keep abreast of new eldercare subsidies, government initiatives and community resources.
Here are some useful search terms to start with:
Caregiving Services Singapore
4. Get Heavily Subsidised Vaccinations And Screenings
Effective vaccinations and early detection of chronic conditions through health screenings dramatically saves future pain and costs.
Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation
Under the Screen For Life programme, PG seniors enjoy full subsidy for screenings (including colorectal cancer and chronic illness) and vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal) whilst MG seniors enjoy a subsidised rate of $2. Locate the nearest CHAS clinics to enjoy these subsidised rates.
If your parents are between 50 and 69, screenings for colorectal, breast and cervical cancer are also fully subsidised. Just call any of the qualified clinics or screening centres for an appointment.
If your parent is above 50, mammograms and colorectal screenings can be claimed under Medisave. Just call any of the qualified screening centres for an appointment.
Using Private Insurance
If your parent is already covered, why not make full use of the insurance benefits by going for the health screenings recommended by the Singapore Health Promotion Board (link)? Call your insurance provider to see if your plan covers any of these tests.
5. Set Up Emergency Procedures
Make it easy for your parent to alert you at the press of a button in an emergency and monitor your parent’s whereabouts when they leave the house:
Save your number and other emergency contacts on speed-dial. This allows your parent to call for direct help at the press of a button. Learn how to set up speed dial for home phone (link), iPhone (link) or Android phone (use the Speed Dial app: link).Also, print out and this chart of the emergency numbers (English, Mandarin, Bahasa Melayu, Tamil) and put it up close to the home phone.
Set up a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS). A PERS lets your parent send you an emergency alert by pushing an alarm button. The alert is sent to you, an alarm monitoring company’s central station or any other programmed number. Elderwise Living and Silverline are Singapore-based providers of PERS systems.
Activate GPS or a location detector on your parent’s phone. If your parents get lost, you will be able to locate them instantly if they are carrying their phone. For a smartphone, you can enable its locator function on iPhones (here’s how) or Android devices (here’s how). If your parent is using a different OS from you, you may use the Family Locator or Find My Friends apps which are compatible with both iPhones and Android devices.
Speak to community befrienders in your neighbourhood to check in with your parent regularly. The Lions Befrienders Service Association (link) and COMNET Senior Services (link) are two organisations that conduct visits to members’ homes.
Get a neighbour to check in on your parent regularly and be a point of contact in times of emergency. If your neighbour is often at home, she may be the fastest responder to your parent’s call for help. You can give her the house key for easy access and instruct on how to attend to your parent’s specific medical needs in an emergency.
Write all your parent’s medical conditions, allergies and an emergency contact on a card. Place this card in your parent’s wallet. If your parent has a medical emergency, passers-by or the hospital A&E staff will have immediate knowledge to act on.
6. Prevent Falls By Making The Home Elder-Safe
Every year, falls account for many cases of disability, emotional distress and even death among the elderly.
Reduce the risk of falls by installing simple modifications:
Grab bars provide support, especially on stairs and in wet places such as the bathroom.
Bed rails acts as a safety barrier against falling while turning or trying to get down from bed.
Ramps replace stairs to make it easier for your parents to move around the house.
Non-slip floors. Simple application of anti-slip stickers or non-slip treatment to help increase friction.
You can even get subsidies for these modifications through the HDB’s Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) Direct Application. Contact your usual contractor today, or find one using HDB’s (link) or SilverAlly’s approved list.
7. Speak To An Eldercare Consultant Like SilverAlly
If your parent’s needs are more extensive and complex, you may consider getting an experienced care manager to assess their medical and living conditions to draw out a tailored care plan.