SilverAlly learned these tips from our own caregiver clients and they are too good not to share with others in similar situations. Most of these steps can be done at no cost and can be set up over the course of a single weekend afternoon.
1. Make Sure Your Parents Have Their CHAS Card Ready
The benefits of the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) subsidies are plenty (see: link) and include subsidised treatment at many GP and dental clinics.
If your parents have Pioneer Generation (PG) status (citizens born on/before 1949, more: link), they are automatically entitled to CHAS subsidies using their PG card (link). If you cannot find their PG card, call 1800-650-6060.
Unfortunately, not all seniors are Pioneers. However, your parents might meet the means testing requirements (link) for CHAS Blue/Orange. So whether they are Pioneers or not, all qualifying seniors can benefit from higher subsidies for selected treatment by applying for CHAS Blue/Orange here: link
It is important to locate and place your parent’s Blue/Orange Health Assist or Pioneer Generation cards in an easily accessible location for the next time they visit a clinic.
2. Send Your Parent’s Primary Caregiver (In Many Cases A Domestic Helper) For Caregiver Training
It takes less than a day! 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. Tsao Foundation (link) and Aaxonn (link) are two places where you can find courses on basic home care.
To offset the cost of training, you may apply for subsidies under the Caregiver Training Grant (link).
3. Bookmark The Following Pages:
Singapore Silverpages (Link)
This website, a project by the AIC, 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.
SilverAlly Eldercare 101 (Link)
Our eldercare guides and articles help you to be self-sufficient in providing simple care for your parents. We also have links to articles on the latest developments in Singapore eldercare for you to stay updated.
Set Up Google Alerts
Get Google to send you weekly email updates on relevant news as they appear on the Internet (here’s how). It is a good way to keep abreast of new eldercare subsidies, government initiatives and community resources. Useful search terms to start with:
4. Get Heavily Subsidised Immunisations And Screenings
Early detection of chronic conditions through health screenings dramatically saves future pain and costs.
Full subsidy for screenings (including colorectal cancer and high blood pressure) and immunisations (influenza and pneumococcal disease) are available under the Screen For Life programme. Just call 1800-223-1313 for an appointment.
Using CHAS Blue/Orange
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 are medisave claimable. 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.
A personal care manager will be on-call 24/7 for any request, no matter how big or small. Contact us for a free face-to-face consultation today.