When the 84-year-old Mr. Tan (not his real name), who has dementia, could no longer be looked after for a parent care center, his children came together to discuss options for the care of their father.
Sharing the responsibility of informal care between the primary carer and the family, and establishing new aspects of long-term relationships – such as taking turns to do shopping for the elderly – suggestions were presented in a new report, Good Care At Home, produced by the National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine's Center for Biomedical Ethics.
It contains recommendations for giving the best care to seniors at home, from both a social and an ethical point of view, and aims to set ethical standards in the provision of such care.
"Many people who care for the elderly are not professionals, most of them are family members, house staff, neighbors and volunteers in the community." Although there are limits to compliance with professional performance standards, the report discusses appropriate standards that can be taken, "said Associate Professor Jacqueline Chin, one of the report's authors.
Other suggestions include continuing to support seniors' personal choices without compromising their safety. Often it involves the independent management of the risks for a retirement home.
Limiting a senior citizen movement at home to prevent falls could also, for example, curb their independence in other ways. In some circumstances, it may be more convenient and affordable to adjust the flats of seniors to increase their safety and independence, the report said.
The report, which was funded by the Lien Foundation, was based on interviews and workshops with more than 170 health professionals and aid workers for three years, from 2015 to last year.
In some circumstances, it may be more convenient and affordable to adjust the flats of seniors to increase their safety and independence.
It is a follow-up to the earlier publication of the center – "Caring for older people in an aging society" – which discussed issues that affect older people. The report can be downloaded at http://cbme.nus.edu.sg