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New care centre eases family's worries

The best part of the arrangement is that he gets to return home in the evening. -My Paper
Gwendolyn Ng

Tue, Jan 08, 2013
My Paper

Above photo is Mr Tan Ah Kiat (right), 60, at the new Singapore Programme for Integrated Care for the Elderly centre in Serangoon.

SINGAPORE - After Parkinson's disease patient Tan Ah Kiat, 60, had a fall more than two months ago, his working family members would worry whenever they had to leave him alone at home.

He also did not like the idea of being in a nursing home all the time.

But a care centre, which was officially opened yesterday, has helped ease the worries of both parties.

Since last week, wheelchair- bound Mr Tan has been cared for during the day at the new centre, allowing working members of his family to rest easy.

The best part of the arrangement is that he gets to return home in the evening.

"If I stay in a nursing home, I won't get to see my loved ones. If I go to the centre in the day, my family members can go to work in peace," he said in Mandarin.

He is one of the first three seniors at the new Singapore Programme for Integrated Care for the Elderly (Spice) centre at the Ling Kwang Home for Senior Citizens in Serangoon.

It is the first Spice centre to be located in a nursing home.

The programme provides medical care, such as physiotherapy, and help with daily needs, including baths and meals.

It also looks after the patients' needs at home, such as meal deliveries.

The Spice centre at Ling Kwang Home is run together with the Agency for Integrated Care.

The agency was set up by the Ministry of Health to coordinate intermediate and long-term care for the elderly.

Patients are referred to the Spice centre through the Agency for Integrated Care.

They suffer from a range of medical conditions, such as stroke, hip fractures and mild dementia.

A day of care by the centre costs $66.

Patients can be means-tested for government subsidies of up to 80 per cent.

Speaking at the Spice centre's opening yesterday, Parliamentary Secretary for Health Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said that more than a third of residents living in the central region of Singapore are aged 50 and above.

Thus, with the Ling Kwang Home's Spice centre located in Serangoon, it will help serve such residents in the central region.

There are two other Spice centres serving residents in the east and west.

They are in the Salvation Army's Bedok Multi-Service Centre and Sathya Sai Social Service Tembusu Rehab and Day Care Centre in Jurong West.

And more centres are in the works.

A spokesman for the Agency for Integrated Care said that the agency hopes to open one or two more Spice centres in nursing homes this year.


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