You are as important as your loved one. You, in your caregiving journey, may be at risk of developing stressors that may adversely affect your mental wellness. There are caregiver community outreach teams who can support caregivers who are at-risk of developing depression, anxiety and burnout. It aims to support you in self-care through health and wellness activities, stress management, peer support, and future planning. You can also be engaged with basic emotional support, link up with support groups and counselling services where needed.
There are currently two providers for Caregiver Community Outreach Teams: Caregivers Alliance Limited (CAL) and Alzheimer's Disease Association (ADA).
When caregivers like yourself are consumed in your role, you may find it difficult to spare time or effort for other matters. Some caregivers may feel that it is easier to stay at home or that you are unable to leave your loved ones. Spending time away from home is only for running of errands or attending doctor’s appointment. There might be a lack of understanding from friends and family on what caregivers like you are going through. Over time, you may withdraw from socialising with others, resulting in an isolating and lonely experience. Hence, it is important to take periodic breaks and
practise self-care so that you can continue journeying with your loved one.
“Sometimes asking for help is the most meaningful example of self-reliance.” – an excerpt from a poem by U.S. Senator Cory Booker
There are short-term, temporary care options, otherwise known as respite care options, that you can tap on when you take a break from caregiving, or when you need just that bit of extra assistance from time to time, such as when the helper goes on home leave.
Respite care options come in the following forms — at a senior care centre and at a nursing home. Your loved one’s condition and the duration in which you need the service will help you decide on the suitable option.
Read this article to find out all you need to know about Respite Care in Singapore.
At a Senior Care Centre
(for seniors who require some supervision or need some assistance with daily care activities)
This is suitable if respite is required only during the day. While at the centre, seniors take part in various social activities such as simple exercises, art and craft, and karaoke sessions. Meals are provided, and care staff will look after the seniors’ daily care needs such as toileting and feeding (including tube feeding). Seniors can make use of this option on an ad hoc basis, even for a day.
Find out more on centre services.
At a Nursing Home
(for seniors who are more frail and require nursing needs)
Nursing home respite care is a stay-in service and suitable for seniors who are physically or mentally disabled because of illness, and are dependent on caregivers for daily care needs. This service is suitable for families who are unable to care for seniors at home. This is also for seniors who have daily nursing care needs such as wound dressing, tube feeding, and stoma management. This option is available for a minimum of seven days per stay, and up to 30 days per year.
Find out more on nursing home respite care.
You are encouraged to plan early for respite services and pre-enrol with your preferred senior care centre or nursing home for respite care. By pre-enrolling, you will complete some pre-admission applications in advance so that it shortens the time to access respite care when you need it.
You may find yourself in a situation where you need respite care unexpectedly. However, finding a suitable care arrangement for your loved one takes time as you will need to consider the following:
The pre-enrolment process will guide you through questions, decide on a suitable care arrangement, and complete some necessary pre-admission applications in advance. This shortens the time it takes to access respite care when you need it.
Go Respite is a new pilot programme that encourages caregivers to plan ahead and identify a suitable respite option that is able to meet their needs and those of their loved ones. As a caregiver, you can pre-enrol with your preferred senior care centre or nursing home, and complete some necessary pre-admission applications in advance. This shortens the time it takes to access respite care when you need it. Caregivers whose loved one is successfully pre-enrolled can contact their preferred service provider directly should they require respite care.
Download the Go Respite flyers below:
Talk to your loved one and family to select a suitable respite care option, based on preferences on location, and duration of care. You do not need to pre-enrol if your loved one is already visiting a senior day care centre. Please approach your regular day care provider should your loved one require respite care.
Shortlist your preferred respite care option and provider(s) from the
list of participating centres and nursing homes.
Sign up easily using our
new online application form
Apply for Household Means Testing (if applicable)
If your loved one is a Singaporean or Permanent Resident, and lives in a household where the monthly per capita income is $2,800 and below, he/she may be eligible for government subsidies. You will need to complete a household means test when you pre-enrol, if you do not currently have a valid means test or your current means test validity is expiring.
Please note that household means test for community care services differs from the means test that is done for inpatient services in the hospitals. If you wish to find out more about household means testing,
click here or download the household means test form
Submit the completed means testing form, along with the relevant supporting documents to the following address:
Ministry of Health Holdings
Harbourfront Centre Post Office
PO Box 074
Upon submitting the completed pre-enrolment and means testing form, you will receive an acknowledgement letter from AIC.
When you receive the acknowledgement letter, please contact your preferred service provider to schedule an assessment.
The service provider will also advise you on the necessary information that will be needed when you activate the service.
Note: Pre-enrolment does not guarantee placement
Admission to the service is subject to vacancy, and patient’s medical condition is stable with no significant change from the point of pre-enrolment. For your loved one’s health and safety, if there are any changes to medical condition or functional abilities, you will need to alert the service provider and furnish the latest medical report or discharge summary, so that the service provider can assess if they are able to provide the service.
Here are more tips to better care for yourself.
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