For elders who are physically abled and require minimum supervision, many are reluctant towards conventional nursing homes as the latter’s structured and efficient routines are perceived as undermining their privacy and independence. On the other hand, having them live by themselves also raises safety concerns should the elders fall down, forget about their medications and face other difficulties such as maintaining the housekeeping of their homes. In light of all these considerations, many elders are increasingly seeking alternatives to nursing homes and this spotlights the rise of Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs).
What is an Assisted Living Facility (ALF)?
In an Assisted Living Facility, a group of elders are able to live together, maintain a level of independence in their daily lives while still receiving the necessary care and support from on-site medically trained caregivers. In-house doctors or nurses will be available to supervise the elders’ health-related concerns and the maintenance team will also be responsible for the daily housekeeping work. In essence, these facilities are designed for elders who need minimum supervision but may occasionally require assistance in areas such as taking their medications, performing some daily living activities as well as preparing their meals. In this group-living environment, these facilities minimise social isolation that the elders may face from living alone and they encourage them to lead a more active and interactive life.
As compared to nursing homes and other caretaking services, there are fewer ALFs in Singapore. If you and your loved ones are interested in applying for an ALF service, please refer to the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) website to find out more. On the AIC platform, there is also an eServices for Financing Schemes (eFASS) portal that can help you and your loved ones identify financial assistance you may qualify for.
Here are some ALF services available which you can consider checking out:
|Apex Harmony Lodge||
- Must be diagnosed with dementia
- Must be free from infectious lung diseases
- Must be either ambulant or wheelchair-bound
- Must be Singaporeans or Singapore Permanent Residents for subsidised applicants
Subsidised residential care is available. To apply, the elders should be referred by the AIC and the elders’ immediate family members are to declare their income for Means Testing.
Under the guidance of their occupational therapists, the elders will engage in a cognitive rehab program on a daily basis which will hopefully stimulate their cognitive activities.
Besides organising activities that cater to the hobbies of the elders, Apex Harmony Lodge will also bring them out to various community settings to re-experience work in a real-life setting.
|The Lentor Residence
- Eligibility requirements are not reflected on the website. For more information, please contact Lentor Residence directly
- Prices range from S$1,800 per month, depending on the medical condition, room type and subsidy level that the elders are eligible for as evaluated from the Household Means Test (HHMT).
- Residents who qualify the HHMT are eligible for MOH Nursing Home subsidy. Otherwise, the elders can enter as a private resident.
|The elders can live in spacious air-conditioned rooms with en-suite bathroom and toilets, television, wifi and room meal services. A 24-hour nursing care and personal concierge services will also be available for the elders|
|Saint Bernadette Lifestyle Village
While the website does not specify the exact criteria of application, Saint Bernadette has stated that the elders should be able to complete a certain number of activities of daily living on their own and they should also be open to meeting new people. For more information about the application process, please contact them directly.
- The price is estimated to be around $3,500- $3,650/month.
- The village will only take in eight residents for each village.
Meals for the elders will be provided including housekeeping and laundry services.
Every resident will have his own room with an attached, wheelchair accessible bathroom.
If the elders require medical aid, they can activate an emergency bell to alert a 24-hour medical concierge.
Assisted Living Flats
Just recently in mid-2020, the government announced that it would launch 160 units of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats in Bukit Batok, known as the Community Care Apartments, which target specifically at elders aged 65 and above. These flats are essentially assisted living spaces, designed for those who want to live on their own but may require aid if needed. Available under the February 2021 BTO exercise, the elders can apply if they are 65 years old and above. They will have the flexibility to choose a lease ranging from 15 to 35 years (in five-year increments), as long as it covers both the applicant and their spouse (if any) until they are at least 95 years old. The prices for these assisted living flats start from $40,000 for a 15-year lease to $65,000 for a 35-year lease. The elders must fully pay upfront with cash or with Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings. Government subsidies such as the Silver Housing Bonus will be available to help offset the costs of these flats. For more information, please visit the official HDB website.
In this latest pilot programme, the elder residents can subscribe to a basic service package, which gives them access to 24-hour emergency monitoring and response, basic health checks and other housekeeping services. With an onsite community manager available, there will be supervision for the elders if needed and he or she will also organise social activities for the community. The basic service package will cost roughly around $22,000 for a 15-year lease.
It is safe to say that everyone hopes to age gracefully throughout the years and upon reaching our twilight years, most would seek to maintain their sense of self and personhood, especially their autonomy, privacy and dignity. If your loved one does not require intensive medical care and attention and would prefer to maintain a certain level of independence in their daily living, it is perhaps a good option to consider ALF services, including the ALF flats launched recently by the government.