PAP Women's Wing wants more eldercare support

SINGAPORE - The People's Action Party's Women's Wing is calling for change to housing, healthcare and employment policies so as to strengthen support to seniors.

It released a position paper on Saturday which set out its recommendations, calling for, among others, mandatory eldercare leave, housing subsidies for single caregivers of the elderly, and help for older entrepreneurs.

Ageing issues are particularly important to the Women's Wing as women are expected to form the majority of Singapore's elderly, said Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef at their annual conference.

That was where she presented the paper along with fellow Women's Wing member and Member of Parliament Ellen Lee.

On mandatory eldercare leave, Dr Fatimah suggested that a week's leave might be an appropriate amount to grant. She hoped that this and other suggestions could be put in place within the next two years.

Other suggestions included helping more elderly homeowners monetise their property, by extending the lease buyback scheme to larger flats and giving options for asset rich but cash poor owners of private property.

The fourth area where the Women's Wing hopes to see change is in social support. It hopes able-bodied elderly will be encouraged to help less able-bodied seniors, and for e more government support to be given to caregivers.

The position paper has been presented to the PAP Seniors group (PAP.SG), set up late last year to address elderly issues.

Last Thursday, PAP.SG released a paper on healthcare in which it called for more public spending in six areas to ensure healthcare remains affordable to older Singaporeans, especially members of the pioneer generation.

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