Sending your loved ones to a nursing home can be an emotionally heartbreaking decision.
But with a small property and no one at home on weekdays, this can sometimes be the best (or the only) course of action if you have to take care of older people who need help with daily chores.
Plus, given Singapore’s size, it’s easy to visit them as often as you like.
If this is what you and your family have decided to do but don’t know where to start, here is a detailed 101 guide to nursing homes in Singapore, their cost, and what to do next.
Retirement homes in Singapore
Retirement homes are long-term care facilities where the elderly can receive assistance in the activities of daily living.
Unlike a day care center or community house where older people live together but are otherwise largely independent, nursing homes are for older people who need help using the toilet, showering, eating and walking. .
Usually there will be professional nursing who will take care of medical needs ranging from changing the urinary catheter to dressing wounds as well as exercises and games with other elderly people.
If your elderly parents or grandparents suffer from mental disorders such as dementia or psychiatric disorders, nursing homes can be safe havens where someone will be constantly looking for them, and they can attend programs and activities. cognitive stimulation to slow the loss. of mental capacity.
Nursing homes that provide long-term advanced medical care to terminally ill patients are generally categorized as palliative care.
If an older person only needs short-term medical care, a community hospital with the appropriate rehabilitation facilities may be more appropriate.
How much do nursing homes cost in Singapore?
The general cost of nursing homes is around $ 1,200 to $ 3,500 per month before the government grant, which ranges from 10 to 75%. This cost varies depending on the number of people sharing a room, the level of care required, and whether the patient is a Singapore citizen or a PR.
For those who opt for private one-bed rooms, it will cost around $ 4,000 to $ 6,500 per month. There are also additional variable fees (if applicable) such as adult diapers, special foods, ambulance services, therapy sessions, etc.
There are two main types of nursing homes in Singapore: private nursing homes and those that are considered voluntary welfare organizations (VWOs).
Since April 2003, the Ministry of Health has extended subsidies to the elderly who are admitted to licensed private retirement homes and who meet the criteria. Thereby, the subsidy scheme is not as straightforward as it simply applies to VWO nursing homes and does not apply to private nursing homes.
Private facilities like Orange Valley may have branches eligible for Department of Health grants, while VWO nursing homes such as All Saints Home (some branches) may not be covered by the Department of Health grant scheme. Health.
These non-profit retirement homes are funded by their own fundraising efforts and offer their own financial assistance programs for seniors who cannot afford the fees.
The list of nursing homes in this table is intended to give a general idea of ââthe cost in Singapore and is by no means exhaustive.
|Retirement homes||Price range (SGD) / month|
|VWO nursing homes subsidized by the Ministry of Health|
|Grace Lodge||Most nursing homes in this category will cost between $ 700 and $ 2,418 after subsidy. The amount of the grant depends on the means test procedure.|
|All Saints Home (some branches)|
|Jamiyah retirement home|
|Lion House for Seniors|
|Ren Ci retirement home|
|Assisi Hospice||$ 8,850 (before subsidy)|
|Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital||$ 1,460 – $ 2,407 (before grant)|
|St. Andrew Nursing Home||$ 1,300 – $ 2,300 (before grant)|
|NTUC nursing home||$ 2,000 – $ 3,500 (before grant)|
|Apex Harmony Lodge||$ 3,150 – $ 3,400 (before grant)|
|VWO nursing homes not subsidized by the Ministry of Health|
|All Saints Home (some branches)||$ 1,400 – $ 2,800|
|Private nursing homes subsidized by the Ministry of Health|
|Econ Medicare Center and retirement home (some branches)||$ 1,200 – $ 4,500 (before grant)|
|Orange Valley Nursing Home (some branches)||$ 1,200 – $ 4,500 (before grant)|
|Private nursing homes not subsidized by the Ministry of Health|
|Econ Medicare Center and retirement home (some branches)||$ 1,200 – $ 4,500|
|Orange Valley Nursing Home (some branches)||$ 1,200 – $ 4,500|
How to obtain a subsidy in a retirement home?
To get a nursing home grant, one must first be a citizen of Singapore or a permanent resident. It is also necessary to meet the means test and already receive care from a service provider funded by the MOH.
The means test is based on the following factors:
- Gross income of the person in need of care and their immediate family
- Total number of family members living in the same household
- Annual value of place of residence
There are different levels of grants for different income groups. The table below shows the grants for patients in a nursing home / hospice.
|Monthly household income per capita||Subsidy rate (%)|
|Singapore citizens||Permanent residents|
|$ 800 and less||75||50|
|$ 801 to $ 1,200||60||40|
|$ 1,201 to $ 2,000||50||30|
|$ 2,001 to $ 2,800||40||20|
|$ 2,801 to $ 3,300||20||ten|
|$ 3,301 and over||0||0|
How to apply for a retirement home in Singapore
Location is one of the main criteria for choosing a retirement home.
It is best to find a retirement home closer to you to facilitate visits. You can find a list of nursing homes in Singapore using the E-care locator at Health center.
To be eligible for registration in a retirement home, a senior must be:
- Physical or mental disability due to illness
- You have difficulty walking – either dependent on a wheelchair or in bed, and therefore need help with daily activities such as using the bathroom.
- Unable to be cared for at home by family members or a caregiver and have tried other care alternatives such as home nursing or daycare.
- Eligible for means test (an assessment to verify monthly household income per person) for Ministry of Health grants
To apply for a VWO nursing home, you need to get a referral from a medical social worker at a hospital or polyclinic.
The social worker will then help you submit the referral and application to the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), which is a government agency that manages the availability of VWO nursing homes in Singapore.
This will allow you to be eligible for government grants (if applicable to the retirement home) after a means test has been completed.
Another way is to apply directly to the preferred private nursing home where you would pay the private nursing rates.
This article first appeared in MoneySmart.