To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) in each of the last five years, how many working adults aged 21 to 65 were residing with both a young child aged 12 and below, as well as an elderly family member aged 65 and above; (b) how many in this group of households employ a foreign domestic worker; and (c) whether there are Government studies or findings about the challenges faced by this group in providing care to both the young and the elderly at the same time.
1. The number of working residents aged 21 to 64 living in a household with at least one member aged 65 and above and at least one member aged below 13 years, and whether they employ a foreign domestic worker in the household, is in Table 1 below.
Table 1: Working Residents Aged 21-64 Living With At Least One Member Aged 65 and Above and At Least One Member Aged Below 13, by Presence of Foreign Domestic Worker in Household, 2014-2018
Source: Department of Statistics
2. In 2018, MOH led a cross-agency review on caregiver support and conducted focus group discussions with more than 200 caregivers and stakeholders, including those caring for both the young and the elderly. Similar to other caregivers, they would appreciate more support in the form of more respite care options, greater workplace flexibility to help them cope with having to care for multiple family members, and more assistance to help them navigate and access various care services. For families that employed foreign domestic workers to alleviate the caregiving burden, some were concerned with whether the foreign domestic workers would be able to cope when care needs of their family members increase.
3. To better support caregivers of seniors, MOH announced the Caregiver Support Action Plan in February 2019, which includes measures related to improving care navigation, financial support and the provision of respite services. Our childcare subsidies also take into account household size, such that larger families with more than two dependants in the household may receive more subsidies. MSF is further reviewing preschool subsidies. MOM will also be expanding the Work-Life Grant from $30 million to $100 million, to encourage more companies to introduce and sustain the use of flexible work arrangements. The Government will continue to seek feedback and review measures to better support the needs of caregivers, including those who are caring for both the young and the elderly.