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Beyond ‘difficult and dirty’ – what community eldercare workers know that we don’t

We’ve all heard the statistic – that one in four Singaporeans will be aged 65 and above by 2030. This is partly a result of lowered fertility and increased life expectancy at 84.9 years on average (among the highest globally). On the other hand, a senior spends about 10 years in declining health, plagued by chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. As the risks and rate of dementia rise, a longer duration of patient care is needed. Home and community-based aged care plays a major role in the long-term care support system.

Community-based elder daycare centres host older adults for a duration of six to nine hours a day, under the supervision of trained direct care workers. These are non-healthcare certified caregivers who tend to the daily basic needs of the elderly – such as interaction, personal care, exercise and meals. Unlike residents of nursing homes, the senior clients at these centres do not have acute care needs, though some may exhibit varying degrees of mobility and dementia conditions.

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