BIOPHYSICS Topic

BIOPHYSICS
Topic: Geriatric care
Ian Chan
S10184259A
TD22

Content Page
Page Number Content
3 Abstract
4 Introduction and Residential Healthcare Services for the Elderly
5 Robotics and Technology
6 Community healthcare services for the elderly and home-based healthcare services
7 Centre-based healthcare services
8 Schemes and Subsidies, Pioneer Generation Package and Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund
9 Enhancement for Active Seniors and Conclusion
10 Conclusion
11 References

Abstract
This report is based on geriatric care in Singapore and the efforts the Government have and will implement to help the increasing problem of aging citizens. The areas covered are Residential Healthcare Services for the Elderly, Robotics and Technology, Community healthcare services for the elderly, home-based healthcare services, Centre-based healthcare services, Schemes and Subsidies, Pioneer Generation Package, Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund and lastly, Enhancement for Active Seniors.
Introduction
Due to Singapore’s aging population, the demand of geriatric care is increasing. The lifespan of an average human is increasing, which means more elderly citizens above the age of 65 every year. As the number increases, the more problems rise up that concerns to elderly people, thus the increasing demand. The Government is left responsible for providing services to the senior citizens, which can be seen over the past couple of years. This paper presents information about geriatric care in Singapore. It will cover the efforts the government has made, as well as the future efforts the government plans to implement. It will view the topic of psychological and sociological aspects by examining the services that the senior citizens undergo and the outcome it has on them.

Residential Healthcare Services for the Elderly
Residential healthcare services in Singapore includes community hospitals, chronic sick hospitals, nursing homes, inpatient hospice care and respite care. These residential healthcare services provide to the elderly who become frail, sick and bedridden and are unable to care for themselves or be cared for within their own homes. (2007, Ministry of Health (MOH)) In the year 2030, it is projected that about a million of Singapore’s population will be above the age of 60. Yet, there are only 3,500 of such residential healthcare services. With these numbers, the Government seeks to push for an increase to cater for the demand. However, with the push of an increase of residential healthcare services there also has to be an increase in the number of healthcare workers and caregivers in the eldercare sector. Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, an MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, suggests that the Government should step in to implement a central employment agency to recruit and train Singaporeans and plan their career development. This will help to attract more staff to work in the eldercare sector. (Yong, 2016)
Robotics and Technology
As technology advances, it becomes another area that Singapore is beginning to examine so as to reduce reliance on maids for eldercare. The Government is eager to embrace technology with its Smart Nation drive. It has set aside more than $450 million for the National Robotics Programme over the years of 2017 to 2019. This money will help firms to adopt robotics technology and boost productivity. An example of technology implemented in geriatric care is Japanese firm Cyberdyne which produces wearable machines, such as mechanical limbs and exoskeletons, to support a user. This technology is able to allow frail seniors look after themselves as it gives them mobility and strength. As for Singapore, the Housing Board and the Health Ministry have already started up pilot projects to develop and install elderly monitoring systems in flats occupied by lone elderly residents. These systems will be monitoring the residents’ activity levels and will trigger an alert to a caregiver, for instance, when there is extended non-movement, which could be due to a fall. “The next step is to find a way to have eldercare technology run seamlessly with other home automation systems, so as not to overload the user with too many systems’, said Dr Tan Hwee Pink, an associate professor of information systems at Singapore Management University. (Yong,2016) Other than wearable technology, there are 5 other ways that technology is able to play apart in geriatric care. One way is for social connection by using video chat and social media to allow elderlies to keep in touch with loved ones. They may also use it to ask questions to their designated healthcare professional. Using technology for social technology will benefit those living alone, by helping them connect to others. Another way is using technology is watching for the safety of elderly who live alone. Personal Emergency Response System (PRES) device are installed in their homes and seniors living alone are able to render for help through it. This device has shown to be effective at saving lives of seniors during events of accidents or other medical emergencies. Technology can also be used for exercise and condition mental alertness. Using video game systems, the elderly is able to play appropriate games that are designed to keep both their minds and bodies active. Medication management is another area which technology can help in. There are already smartphone applications that can help an elderly track medication, send out alerts when to take a medication and offer specific information on a wide range of medications. Lastly, technology can be used for to keep track of a senior’s health. Online tools are easily accessible and it is able to simplify the process of maintaining and accessing health information. Not only will it help the user, it will also be of great help to their primary physician. (2017, Mazial)
Community Healthcare Services for the Elderly
Community healthcare services are provided to elderlies who prefer to live with their family members and friends in a familiar environment. However, in several cases the elderly is unable to take care of themselves or the family is unable to provide care to the elderly. In such cases, community healthcare services may be required to help the elderly. These community healthcare services may be provided either at home or at a centre. (2007, MOH)
Home based healthcare services
Home based healthcare services are usually required when no other family member is able to stay home to take care of the elderly or when the elderly is immobile and cannot go to a centre. Multiple services are available according to the elderly’s needs. Such example is home personal care services, whereby a trained caretaker will be deployed to the home to assist the elderly in activities ranging from companionship and recreational activities to medical escort to physical maintenance exercises. Another service available is home nursing services, whereby a registered nurse will be deployed to the home to assist the elderly in medical procedures such as changing of feeding tubes and urinary catheter or wound care. The registered nurse will also help eligible elderlies to purchase approved medical consumables. Other services would include home therapy services, home medical consultation, interim caregiver services and more. (2018, NTUC HEALTH CO-OPERATIVE LTD)
Centre based healthcare services
Healthcare services can be provided at centres when services require more help such as manpower or specialised tools. The elderly would drop by the centre during the day on a regular basis, and by night time, return back home to their families. Such centres include: Day Rehabilitation Centres, Dementia Day Care Centres, Psychiatric Day Care Centres and Rehabilitation Homes and more. (2007, MOH) At Day Rehabilitation Centres, elderlies go through therapy, especially those with heart diseases, had a stroke or fracture. Therapy will help them regain abilities and make a full recovery so that their condition would minimise effects on everyday things such as walking around or going to the bathroom. They undergo therapy such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy at these centres. (2011, Singapore Silver Pages (SSP)) At Dementia Day Care Centres, the elderlies take part in engaging activities that helps to stimulate their cognitive functions and optimise their functioning in the community. Certain centres provide rehabilitation and skills training as part of the programme. Services at these Dementia Day Care Centres are nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and social activities. (2011, SSP) Lastly, at Psychiatric Day Care Centres and Rehabilitation Homes, structured rehabilitation programmes are provided to re-integrate elderlies in recovery into society. They are taught community living skills and tasks that are needed in their daily lives such as domestic and recreational activities. Going through these programmes will help increase social inclusion among peers and reduce relapse and re-admission rates of health problems. These programmes support clients in their re-integration back to their homes and in the community. These homes also seek to provide long-term residential care to elderlies who are destitute or whose caregivers are unavailable or incapable of caring for them. (2018, National Council of Social Service)
Schemes and Subsidies
With old age, comes retirement. The elderly who are unable to continue working have to start relying on their retirement savings. However, these savings are often not sufficient to cover additional medical fees. The Government has stepped in and introduced multiple subsidies and schemes for the elderly.

Pioneer Generation Package
Pioneer Generation package to show appreciation to the elders who played a part in Singapore’s history. This Pioneer Generation package provides for many healthcare benefits. One being subsides for all Pioneers at selected clinics, polyclinics and subsides at public hospital and national specialty centres for outpatient treatments. They are legible to receive subsidies of up to 50% off services and medication. Pioneers will also receive annual top ups in their Medisave, a national savings scheme which helps citizens to save for future medical fees. They will receive top up amounts ranging from $200-$800, depending on their age, for the rest of their lives. Not only that, but Pioneers will generous Pioneer Generation Subsidies of between 40 – 60%, depending on age. This will help save them about $400 – $1000 yearly. Lastly, Pioneers with moderate or severe disabilities will receive life-long cash assistance of $1,200 per year to help with their care expenses. They will only be applicable for this cash assistance if they require permanent assistance in three daily activities such as changing, bathing, eating, etc. (2018, Pioneer Generation Package)
Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund
The Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund will help to seniors to offset costs for equipment that they need to help them stay independent. Such equipment includes walking sticks, electric wheelchairs, or even spectacles and hearing aids. This fund can also be used for immobile elderlies who require specialised transport to government-funded eldercare, dialysis or day hospice services. Seniors who are frail enough to qualify for a nursing home, but instead are receiving government-funded home or community care services, can also get subsidies to pay for medical supplies such as adult diapers or wound dressings. Only those who are 60 years of age and above and have undergone a financial assessment are legible for this scheme. (2018, Lai)
Enhancement for Active Seniors
The Enhancement for Active Seniors is a Housing Board scheme to help make the homes of elderlies more senior-friendly. Seniors will be granted subsidies of up to 95 per cent to install non-slip flooring and grab bars in their toilets, as well as ramps to make it easier for a wheelchair user to get around. These improvements are part of the HDB’s Home Improvement Programme, which is being rolled out across Singapore. In order to qualify for this financial scheme, the household must include someone who is 65 and above, or someone between 60 and 64 who requires help with at least one of the six basic daily activities, such as eating, changing, getting around etc. Those who do not qualify but require such financial scheme can apply directly for the subsidised upgrades through the HDB’s website. (2018, Lai)
Conclusion
The Government is fully aware of its uprising situation of Singapore becoming an aging society. Its has stepped in and contributed millions of dollars to support geriatric care in Singapore. The money is equally and carefully appointed to different aspects of geriatric care. Each area is properly funded and is able to continue to develop so that is able to support more aging citizens in the future. In Residential Healthcare Services for the Elderly, the Government is looking to expand and build more residential apartments to hold more elderlies. More hospitals beds have been bought and more infrastructure has been built so that residential centres are able to take in more patients, specifically seniors who are unable to take care of themselves or have no family member to assist them. In Robotics and Technology, the Government has invested money in the advancement of technology which includes wearable technology and tracking systems that track both the seniors and their health. Information will be monitored by professionals and physicians. Other methods of using technology in geriatric care can be adopted from other countries such as Japan. In Centre based healthcare services, the Government has already set up multiple services available to specific needs. Elderlies are able to drop by specific centres for their therapy that will help them to integrate back into society. In Schemes and Subsidies, the Government has set aside a sum of money to ease the medical fees of the elderly. The Government has also set aside money to be given to elderlies who are no longer able to support themselves. Subsidies are available for many things related to healthcare such as medicine, walking sticks and non-slip flooring in toilets. These are the actions taken by the Government to improve geriatric care in Singapore.

REFERENCES
Lai. L, (2018, February 20), Programmes that help with seniors’ needs, The Strait Times, Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/programmes-that-help-with-seniors-needs
Maizal, (2017, October 20), Elderly Care in Singapore: What Are Your Options? Part II, Retrieved from: http://maizal.com.sg/elderly-care-singapore-options-part-ii/
Ministry of Health, (2007, May 16), Elderly Care, Retrieved from: https://www.moh.gov. sg/content/moh_web/healthprofessionalsportal/allhealthcareprofessionals/guidelines/elderlycare.html
National Council of Social Service, (2018), Psychiatric Day Care and Homes, Retrieved from: https://www.ncss.gov.sg/GatewayPages/Social-Services/Persons-with-Mental-Health-Issues/Psychiatric-Day-Care-and-Homes
Ntuc Health Co-Operative Ltd, (2018), Home Care Services, Retrieved from: https://ntuc health.sg/home-care-services/
Pioneer Generation, (2018), Overview, Retrieved from: https://www.pioneers.sg/en-sg/Pages/Overview.aspx
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