The cost of staying in a nursing home in Singapore ranges from S$2,000 to S$3,600 per month without any subsidy from the Ministry of Health (MOH). However, opting for a live-in care service could cut the cost by up to S$1,000 per month, depending on the experience and qualifications of the caregivers.
Caregivers can enhance the quality of life for elderly individuals since they are trained for the job. Likewise, it can relieve families of thinking too much about who can look after their senior loved ones when they have to work or attend to important matters.
As Singapore faces a surge in the ageing population, the demand for in-home care services is on an upward trend. But why is live-in care the best option for the elderly residents of the country? Why should you consider this arrangement, especially when you are finding it hard to balance your familial responsibilities and work life?
Let’s delve further into the importance of live-in care for the ageing population in Singapore. Who needs it more? How does it work? What services do these live-in caregivers render, and how much does it cost?
Why Choose Live-in Care in Singapore?
Live-in elder care is a round-the-clock service that ensures your senior loved one has a companion 24/7 while emphasising the security of your home. Caregivers can help with the daily chores and provide assistance to patients with personal care, such as bathing and grooming.
While you can opt to get a nursing service or home health provider for the patient, a live-in caregiver stays with your loved one during their shift. Aside from help and assistance, they become a constant presence whom your elderly loved one can talk and share stories with.
Depending on your demands, live-in caregivers’ shifts can last anywhere from eight hours to several days. While they typically do not reside in your home permanently, they might spend a few nights there each week while working. They go back to their primary residence when their shift is through.
Should You Opt for Live-In Care?
One of the major advantages of live-in care services is the personalised attention they provide, which censures that your loved one is cared for and in good health. Here’s a look at the other advantages of live-in care for your elderly loved ones:
Assistance with daily activities
Live-in caregivers specialise in assisting elderly or disabled individuals with everyday activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and more. This can be particularly useful for those who require assistance with basic daily tasks or who face mobility challenges.
Medication management assistance
Your loved one’s caregiver will ensure the patient takes their medication at the right time and amount, as their doctor prescribes. Additionally, caregivers can monitor your loved one’s health and watch for warning signs to help manage chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
Safety and security
These caregivers can provide companionship, live-in care, and transportation assistance to appointments and errands, as well as monitoring and supervision to ensure the safety and well-being of your loved one. They can also help prevent falls and provide emergency assistance if needed. In addition, you can opt to request respite care, available to family members who need a break from caregiving responsibilities.
The State of Singapore’s Ageing Population
Singapore has been struggling with the issue of its rapidly ageing population, and it is getting harder to provide proper care for the elderly through the years. Families must make a difficult decision: should they send ageing loved ones to a nursing home, risking the judgement of others, or employ a maid to care for them at home?
The issue is serious because predictions indicate that by 2030, over a million people—or nearly twice as many as there are now—will be older than retirement age in Singapore. Given that many families live together, it is obvious that the nation needs to begin seriously considering how to care for its senior population.
The Singaporean government has launched CareShield Life, a mandated long-term care insurance program that replaced the ElderShield program in 2020. It is intended to meet the basic needs of those with severe disabilities.
However, providing for the elderly entails more than just giving money. The options for geriatric care will depend on the extent of medical assistance required.
Who Needs Live-In Care Services?
Live-in care offers aid and support to people in their homes. It can be a good alternative for those who need specialised care that regular care services cannot provide or for people who want to stay in the comfort of their own homes.
Here are some samples of people who will benefit from live-in care:
1. People with limited mobility
People with impairments or mobility problems may need assistance with daily tasks like getting dressed, taking a bath, or moving around their houses.
2. Vulnerable patients recovering from an illness or injury
People recently released from the hospital following an illness or surgery may need additional support to help them regain their strength and independence.
3. Those who are far from relatives or friends
Elderly adults may need extra assistance to maintain their independence and stay in touch with their loved ones if they live far from their family or friends.
4. Patients in hospice care
Those receiving hospice care may need round-the-clock assistance and care to manage their symptoms and keep themselves comfortable.
5. Patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia
People who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may need specialized care and support to manage their illness and maintain their quality of life.
6. Older adults who are feeling overburdened looking after themselves
Those struggling with their physical or mental health could find it challenging to care for themselves and their houses. A live-in caregiver who can offer the support they need to manage everyday responsibilities can enhance their quality of life.
7. Those who need someone to care for or assist them at night
People who need care at night may benefit from a live-in caregiver who can offer support and help throughout the night, such as those with medical issues that need monitoring or those prone to falls.
8. Elderly people who are withdrawn or isolated from other
Having a live-in caregiver who can offer companionship and social engagement may benefit elderly persons who are socially isolated and withdrawn from others.
Live-In Care – How Does It Work?
There are three types of live-in home care, each having unique arrangements for the caregiver:
Live together with the live-in caregiver
This kind of caregiver has a private bedroom and lives with you, but they do not work continually. They rest at night, but they also give care when it is required and take pauses during the day. Depending on your needs and preferences, a secondary caregiver might step in during the primary caregiver’s nights off.
Separate residences setup with a live-in caregiver
In this scenario, the caregiver stays in your home for a few nights each week while continuing to live the rest of the time separately. They need a private room and a bed in your house and give 24-hour care during their workweek, which is normally four or five days long. A different caregiver handles the remaining days, and the primary caregiver is given a break each day.
24-hour live-in caregiving setup
This caregiving style entails having a caregiver present in your house constantly or 24-hour care. This arrangement, which often comprises two or three caregivers who work eight- or 12-hour shifts, is suitable for seniors who need high levels of care.
Unless the family permits them to sleep, caregivers are required to stay up for the entire duration of their shift. In this arrangement, you are not obligated to give caregivers access to a private room or a designated area in the bathroom for personal hygiene supplies.
The Roles of a Live-In Caregiver
The duty of a live-in caregiver is to offer assistance and support to people in their employer’s home. Depending on the particular requirements and demands of the person they are caring for, their duties and obligations may change. Their responsibilities may include the following:
1. Household tasks
A live-in caregiver carries out everyday tasks like cleaning, doing laundry, and keeping everything organised.
2. Personal care
The caregiver may be tasked to help the patient with bathing, using the restroom, and other personal care requirements.
3. Assistance with dressing
The caregiver may assist the patient with dressing and grooming.
4. Meal preparation
A caregiver also handles planning and preparing meals to ensure that the person is eating wholesome, well-balanced meals.
5. Emergency responder
In the event of an emergency, the caregiver must be able to act appropriately and administer the required first aid.
6. Support for movement
A live-in caregiver can offer assistance for mobility, such as assisting the person in getting in and out of bed or moving around the house.
7. Reminding the patient about their medications
They ensure their patients take their prescriptions as directed.
8. Shopping and doing errands
The caregiver can assist with errands like grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions.
9. Providing emotional support and companionship
A caregiver spends quality time with their patient by talking or doing activities, such as playing games, making crafts, or reading aloud to them.
10. Support with pet care
If the patient has animals, the caregiver may need to help with tasks like feeding and walking the pet.
In order to ensure the person’s comfort, safety, and wellness, a live-in caregiver must deliver professional, individualised care with compassion at all times.
When Do You Consider Live-In Care for the Elderly?
Not all families are comfortable with having strangers live in their homes or have someone who’s not blood-related care for their elderly loved ones when no one else could do the job. But live-in caregivers make it easier to decide, especially because they can be helpful in many ways, including the following:
1. Older adults can remain in their houses if they have elder live-in care
The ability to continue living in their own homes, where they are more at ease and familiar with their surroundings, is one of the main advantages of live-in home care for the elderly. Seniors with a strong sense of attachment to their homes and communities should pay particular attention to this.
The older person can keep their daily routine and avoid the stress and uncertainty that might come with relocating to a new location with the help of live-in carers who can help with chores like cooking, cleaning, and running errands.
2. You can maintain an exceptional level of independence with elderly live-in care
Elderly adults who desire to keep their independence will benefit notably from live-in carers because they are trained to offer support while encouraging independence. Caregivers can assist elders with daily duties like bathing, clothing, and grooming while urging them to participate in activities that enhance their mental and physical well-being. Exercise, hobbies, and social activities all fall under this category.
3. Better continuity of care is made possible by elderly live-in care
The older person can get the attention they require around-the-clock thanks to live-in caregivers who offer continuous care. Seniors who require ongoing monitoring or medical treatment may find this particularly important. Additionally, having a dependable caregiver can promote the development of rapport and trust, resulting in better care in general.
4. Greater flexibility is provided by elderly live-in care
Depending on the needs and preferences of the older person, live-in carers can offer a variety of services. This can involve assistance with personal care, housework, managing medications, transportation, and companionship.
Additionally, caregivers can modify their level of care in response to changes in the older person’s health or environment, which can offer more adaptability and flexibility.
5. Elderly live-in care provides individualised attention
The older person receives specialised one-on-one care from live-in carers, which entails individualised attention and support. Seniors who require assistance with daily duties or have significant medical needs may find this particularly important. They may be more likely to receive the care and attention they need if they have a caregiver whose focus is on meeting their requirements.
What are the Services Required by Older Adults?
It can be demanding and difficult to care for senior citizens. It’s typical to require assistance, whether for a short or a very long time. Fortunately, in Singapore, many senior care services are available to provide assistance.
Here’s a look at the common services commonly required by the elderly:
1. Activities of daily living, including taking a shower and preparing food
Older persons with physical restrictions or mobility issues frequently need assistance with daily tasks, including bathing, dressing, grooming, meal preparation, and more. Caregivers can assist with these tasks to help elders keep their freedom and go about their daily lives.
2. Nursing tasks
Many elderly patients might need help with nursing procedures, including catheterization, injections, or wound care. Professionals with the necessary training can offer skilled nursing services, assuring the efficiency and safety of these processes.
3. Medical care
Patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease frequently require medical care. It’s crucial to get regular checkups and keep track of symptoms so these disorders can be efficiently controlled and problems can be avoided. Diagnostic testing, such as blood work or imaging, can also be a part of medical care to spot potential health issues.
4. Rehab therapy
Older adults who have experienced an injury or disease may need rehabilitation therapy, which includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, to help them restore their strength, mobility, and cognitive abilities. Physiotherapy can aid in enhancing strength, mobility, and balance. A person can relearn daily living skills and adjust to changes in abilities through occupational therapy. Meanwhile, speech therapy can be beneficial to patients having a hard time swallowing and communicating.
5. Medical escort and transportation requirements
Older people may find it challenging to get around, particularly if they have mobility problems or are unable to drive. In addition to accompanying the patient to guarantee their safety and comfort, medical escort services can help with transportation to and from medical appointments.
6. Delivery of medicines
Seniors may need several medications to treat their medical issues. Prescription delivery services can help with the management of prescription refills and can guarantee that the right medications are taken at the right times.
7. Home modification
To maintain the security and comfort of older persons, modifications to the home environment may be required. This can involve adding grab bars, ramps, or stairlifts and making other home changes to increase accessibility and mobility. Seniors can retain their independence and quality of life by making home improvements that can help to lower the risk of falls and other accidents.
An Overview of the Costs of Live-In Care
The total cost you have to allocate for live-in care services depends on many factors. They include the type of services you require and the applicable subsidies.
Approximately, expect an hourly rate of S$20 to S$25 for home care services and a monthly fee of S$900 to S$1,500 in day care centres and S$1,200 to S$3,500 in nursing homes.
Aside from the fixed dues, you must also allocate a budget for other elder care services. They include medications, transportation, and doctor visits.
Live-in care services are flexible. You can request the assistance your loved one requires. The usual work done by elder care services revolves around companionship, escort to medical appointments, and support with activities of daily living. Some clients also request specialised services, such as therapies and medical care for patients with chronic or mental illnesses.
The cost is also flexible and will depend on the number of hours and your required services. You can opt for overnight help or a long-term caregiver without signing a lock-in contract. This means you will only pay for the number of hours the carer provides in looking after the patient.
Here are the common services offered by live-in caregivers and how much they cost:
Budget: Around S$24/hour
Many Singaporeans have voiced their desire to spend their final days in their residences. They prefer to be with their loved ones at such a time.
By getting home palliative care services, the patient can stay home while getting assistance with nursing care, symptom relief, and pain control. The goal is to give them a better life and make it as comfortable as possible.
Budget: Around S$180/hour
You can request for trained occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physiotherapists to do house visits. They can help your elderly loved one age in place comfortably and continue living independently as long as they can.
Budget: Around S$4.80/meal (can be lowered through subsidies)
Meals-on-wheels is a meal delivery program that provides daily food to the elderly who are unable to buy or prepare meals and have no one to help them. You can get the service if you are worried that your loved one may miss meals while you are away.
Budget: Around S$21/hour
Medical escorts can offer the assistance you need, whether getting a loved one to a doctor’s appointment or extra help looking after a person with limited mobility during a social function. They can guarantee your loved one’s safety from your doorstep to their destination and back.
Budget: Around $20/hour
Less mobile seniors can benefit from the ease of having a doctor visit them at home by scheduling a house call or using a teleconsultation. Any type of medical procedure, including routine checkups and consultations, can be done at home. Likewise, you can also get medication delivered right to your door.
Budget: Around S$24/hour
You can request professional nursing services for patients at home. The procedures will depend on the patient’s needs. The most common ones include the basic, such as tracheostomy suctioning and nasogastric tube feeding, and complicated tasks, such as stoma bag management, injection, and wound dressing.
Budget: Around S$21/hour
Most seniors would require assistance with their activities of daily living as they get older and weaker. You can also request carers capable of looking after patients with special needs, including Parkinson’s or stroke patients.
The Top Benefits of Having Live-In Care for the Elderly
The best alternative for older people who want to receive assistance in the familiarity and comfort of their own homes is live-in care. With this kind of care, they are given devoted, continuous support and peace of mind. Qualified live-in caregivers have received specific training to deliver the best care possible in their client’s homes.
The following are some benefits of live-in care:
Seniors can continue to travel and take part in new experiences by having their caregivers go on holidays with them. The senior’s travel will be made easier and more comfortable by the caregiver’s support and aid with activities.
2. Quality time with loved ones
Having live-in care enables elderly individuals to spend time with friends and family. This can lessen feelings of loneliness and foster emotional health.
3. Less pressure on the other family members
Live-in care can lessen the stress and pressure on family members who may be in charge of providing care for the elderly person. Both the senior and their loved ones may experience an improvement in relationships and general quality of life as a result.
4. Avoid isolation
Live-in carers can offer company and emotional support, which can lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation. This can enhance both the mental and general well-being of the patient.
5. Enhance memory retention
Live-in caregivers can engage the older person in memory-improving activities like games or puzzles or by simply sharing valuable conversations with them.
6. Prevent wandering
Live-in carers can keep an eye out for and stop the wandering behaviour of their patients. This will ensure the safety and well-being of elderly people, especially those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease,
7. Transportation assistance
Live-in carers can offer seniors transportation support, preserving their independence and enabling them to attend social events or appointments.
8. Managing the medications of their patients
Live-in caregivers can assist seniors in managing their meds, ensuring they take them at the right times and in the right amounts. Seniors who do this can maintain their health and avoid problems.
9. Help with personal hygiene care
Live-in carers can help keep the personal hygiene of their patients while maintaining their dignity and privacy.
10. Learn ways to stay independent
Seniors can learn new independent living skills from live-in carers, such as altering their living space or using assistive technology.
How to Choose the Right Live-in Caregiver
Before deciding to hire a live-in caregiver, you must first list down the qualifications you require. This will vary depending on the patient’s needs and specific requirements.
You can use this list as a roadmap for organising meetings with family members to discuss how to care for ageing parents. It’s crucial to involve all parties, including siblings and other family members, who will help care for the patient and give opinions regarding their caregiver preferences and financial considerations.
Here are the crucial steps that can help you choose the right person for the caregiving role:
1. Check their work history
Verify their past and history in caregiving, including their prior experience, education, and references. It’s critical to confirm the caregiver’s background and history. This can guarantee that they have the abilities and information required to deliver high-quality care.
2. Advanced caring skills
Confirming that the caregiver has the education and experience necessary to deliver the proper level of care if your loved one has advanced caring demands or special medical needs is crucial.
3. Know what languages they can speak
Make sure the caregiver can communicate clearly with your loved one, particularly if they have certain linguistic requirements. This will make the caregiver more likely to deliver high-quality care and preserve effective communication.
4. Consider the caregiver’s cultural background
You must determine whether they can provide care that is sensitive to that culture and in line with the requirements and preferences of your loved one. Take note that cultural differences can have an impact on caring.
5. Let them know about the job scope
Clearly outline the caregiver’s job tasks and obligations to ensure that all parties are aware of what is expected of them.
6. Agree about the rest days
In order to prevent caregiver burnout and guarantee high-quality care, it is crucial to set their rest days in a month, when they can rest and take a breather.
7. Plan their accommodation
If the caregiver shares a home with your loved one, ensure their lodging is suitable and cosy, offering them enough space to live comfortably.
8. Set a monthly budget for the caretaker you want to hire
Setting a budget for the caregiver’s monthly income and other related expenses is crucial to ensuring affordability and preventing financial hardship because live-in caregiving can be costly.
Finding the Right Live-In Care with RC Caregivers
Looking for the right professional to provide live-in care for your elderly loved one can be daunting. But fear not, because RC Caregivers can help. As one of the leading elder care services in Singapore, they specialise in finding the perfect caregiver for your loved one’s needs and budget. Rest assured that your loved one will receive top-notch care from a qualified professional, allowing them to continue living a comfortable and fulfilling life despite their age.