Singapore is facing a rapidly ageing population, according to the Ministry of Health. The number of elderly in Singapore has increased to 13% in 2015 and is forecasted to reach 24% in 2030. The government is hence actively pumping more funds and creating more Eldercare grants and subsidies such as Eldershield and Seniors mobility and enabling fund (SMF) to help make healthcare more accessible and affordable for the growing elderly population.
If you are looking for some help with your health costs, or need special help to get around, here are some options to consider.
The Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme (PioneerDAS) is part of the Pioneer Generation Package, which honours what Singapore’s Pioneers have done for the country. Under this scheme, Pioneers who have disabilities can receive $100 a month, which they can use for expenses.
Interim Disability Assistance Scheme For the Elderly (IDAPE)
The Interim Disability Assistance Programme For the Elderly (IDAPE) is an assistance scheme that was set up in 2002 for a small group of seniors who were not eligible for ElderShield at the time because they were too old or had pre-existing disabilities.
If these seniors develop severe disability, they can receive $150 or $250 monthly cash payout (depending on their financial circumstances) for up to 72 months.
There is no restriction on how the payments should be used, as long as they are used for the care of the disabled IDAPE claimant. For example, you can use the payment for the following:
Hiring a foreign domestic worker (FDW) as a helper to care for the disabled IDAPE claimant Nursing costs
Hiring of a foreign domestic worker (FDW) as a helper to care for the disabled IDAPE claimant
You may nominate yourself, a caregiver who is 18 years old and above, or a nursing home that you are residing in to receive your IDAPE payment.
The Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) Grant is a monthly grant of $120 given to families who hire an FDW to take care of loved ones who need permanent assistance in more than three Activities of Daily Living. Find out if you are eligible and how you can apply for the grant here: Foreign Domestic Worker Grant (FDWG)
Helping the elderly stay mobile and independent in the community
Other Financial Assistance
Community Health Assist Scheme
This scheme enables needy elderly and / or persons with disabilities to gain better access to basic healthcare. Under this scheme, residents can receive healthcare from participating private general practitioners and dental clinics in their community at subsidised rates.
Medifund provides subsidies to patients who are unable to pay for their medical treatment at approved hospitals, medical institutions and care facilities. It serves as a last resort for patients who, despite Medisave and MediShield, are unable to pay for their medical expenses.
MediShield is a low-cost catastrophic illness insurance scheme. It is designed to enable members to pay for medical bills arising from major illnesses that cannot be sufficiently covered by the balance in their Medisave Account.
As the costs of intermediate and long-term care (ILTC) can be high, the government provides financial assistance to needy patients who need ILTC services. These subsidies are given directly to ILTC service providers who will use it to offset the bill incurred by patients who qualify.
Examples of ILTC service providers are community hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, day rehabilitation centres, and home care service providers.