Aging adults with additional functional need typically are either cared for in one of two settings: i) the home, or ii) a nursing home. Singapore’s policy greatly favors the former.
In contrast with the United Kingdom and the United States, Singapore has sought to minimize LTC costs by adopting an LTC policy that promotes “the family as the first line of care and support for persons with disabilities”, a position in accord with the widely accepted Confucian tradition of filial piety. Only in instances when family support is insufficient may qualifying, means-tested elders receive subsidies from the government either to employ a foreign domestic worker (FDW) (equivalent to a live-in maid in the United States and Europe) or pay for the use of home- and community-based services (HCBS) or a nursing home.
Correspondingly, there are 59 nursing homes and a total of just 9,300 nursing home beds in Singapore, all of which are occupied.
A paper by Ansah et al (2013) uses a simulation methodology and estimates that by 2030, average family elder care hours per week are projected to increase by 41 percent from 29 to 41 hours.
- Ansah, J. P., Matchar, D. B., Love, S. R., Malhotra, R., Do, Y. K., Chan, A. and Eberlein, R. (2013), Simulating the Impact of Long-Term Care Policy on Family Eldercare Hours. Health Services Research. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12030