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Singapore Government

Caring Assistance from Neighbours (CAN) Programme

Caring Assistance from Neighbours (CAN) Programme


Published On
16 Aug 2013

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) have jointly initiated a new service called the Caring Assistance from Neighbours (CAN) programme. Through CAN, neighbours are encouraged and empowered to take on the role of a carer. The CAN carers will look out for the well-being of the frail and vulnerable elderly; remind these elderly to take their medication; monitor their health; and ensure that the elderly attend their medical appointments.

The CAN programme is part of MSF and AIC’s efforts to provide better client-centred care to vulnerable elderly living alone and to support seniors whose caregivers find it difficult to provide them with quality care. Based on figures from DOS, the number of seniors aged 65 and above living on their own increased from about 15,000 in 2000 to 28,000 in 2010. Under this integrated programme, MSF and AIC are collaborating to provide for the social-emotional care needs such as close monitoring and home visits as well as the healthcare needs of the elderly. 

The programme was announced today by Acting Minister for Social and Family Development, Mr Chan Chun Sing during a visit to the home of a senior receiving the services.  Mr Chan was accompanied by Minister of State for Health and Manpower, Dr Amy Khor for the visit.  Both of them witnessed the work of a CAN carer on one of her regular visits to her elderly neighbour. During the visit, Acting Minister for Social and Family Development, Mr Chan Chun Sing said, “We recognise that the elderly often needs both social-emotional and healthcare support.  Through the CAN programme, we hope to be able to provide care in both these areas to frail and vulnerable elderly living in the community I would like to encourage more neighbours to join the CAN programme as carers. Later this year, MSF will also be rolling out the CAN programme in five more neighbourhoods to benefit more vulnerable seniors.”

AIC is providing the healthcare services under CAN programme as a pilot initiative. It is funded by Temasek Cares for two years. Chief Executive Officer of AIC, Dr Jason Cheah, said, “I would like to thank Temasek Cares for supporting Singapore’s efforts to strengthen its community-based care. The CAN programme will enable more and more elderly to age with grace and dignity in neighbourhoods they have grown accustomed to and with neighbours they are familiar with.”

***

ANNEX: Factsheet – Senior Activity Centres (Cluster Support) & CAN Programme 

To identify, monitor and help frail and vulnerable seniors, MSF has put in place Senior Activity Centres (Cluster Support) which are equipped with social work professionals to provide casework management, care planning and counselling services. They are run by Voluntary Welfare Organisations who work with other service providers and local community partners to develop a network of support for elderly in need of assistance. 

Through the CAN programme, each SAC(Cluster Support) has CAN carers to perform regular home visits to these elderly. Such close monitoring helps to ensure the seniors’ overall well-being, and enable early identification of any signs of self-neglect or health deterioration. The carers will also provide emotional support by befriending and developing supportive relationships with the elderly. Currently, this programme has been rolled out at all five Senior Activity Centres (Cluster Support): 

S/N Service Provider

1

THK SAC Cluster Support @ Bukit Merah (Indus Road)

Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities Limited

2

THK SAC Cluster Support @ Geylang (Pipit Road)

Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities Limited

3

NTUC SilverACE – SAC Cluster Support (Taman Jurong)

NTUC Eldercare Co-Operative Limited

4

NTUC SilverACE -  SAC Cluster Support (Bukit Merah)

NTUC Eldercare Co-Operative Limited

5

LBSA Bendemeer SAC (Cluster Support) (Kallang/Rochor)

Lions Befrienders Service Association

MSF will also be rolling out five more Senior Activity Centres (Cluster Support) in FY13. The CAN programme will also be rolled out at these centres. 

S/N Service Provider

1

THK SAC Cluster Support @ Ang Mo Kio

Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities Limited

2

THK SAC Cluster Support @ Bedok

Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities Limited

3

Care Corner SAC Cluster Support @ Toa Payoh

Care Corner FSC

4

Ang Mo Kio SAC Cluster Support @ Ang Mo Kio

Ang Mo Kio FSC

5

LBSA SAC Cluster Support @ Queenstown

Lions Befrienders Service Association

AIC is providing the healthcare services as a pilot programme. Currently, the pilot has been rolled out in Taman Jurong, supported by NTUC–Taman Jurong Senior Activity Centre Cluster Support; and in Bukit Merah, supported by Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society–Senior Homecare. Some of these elderly tend to forget to take their medications or to attend medical appointments. This can eventually lead to long-term health issues for them. Under the pilot programme, the carers will visit their vulnerable elderly neighbours to ensure that their charges consume the right amount of medication at the right time. Where necessary, the carers will remind them to attend their medical appointments. A registered nurse is also based at the Centres of these two service providers.  The nurse joins the carers on some of their visits to monitor the health of the elderly charges and to provide clinical expertise in caring for the elderly.

Presently, there are a total of 41 carers providing support to 237 seniors through the CAN programme. 

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