SINGAPORE - Families of terminally-ill patients who wish to die at home will now be able to get monetary help in doing so.
The Lien Foundation has set up a $500,000 "Respectance Fund" for such needy families to offset bills such as equipment rental, nursing services and transportation costs, The Straits Times reported.
Set up with a personal donation from Mrs Margaret Lien, the widow of the foundation's founder Dr Lien Ying Chow, the fund also provides short-term financial aid for families who have lost their main breadwinner to a terminal illness.
The amount given out is decided on a case-by-case basis and there is no cap on the financial aid that can be disbursed. So far, $14,600 has been disbursed to 27 recipients.
The fund is available to patients who are expected to have 12 months or less to live.
To be eligible for consideration, patients must be recommended by medical social workers from partner institutions like Assisi hospice, HCA hospice care and St Luke's hospital.
Chief executive of the Lien Foundation Mr Lee Poh Wah said the fund was launched as there are no community grants available to help defray the costs of dying at home.
The fund is also expected to help free up medical resources at hospitals, he said.