7 February 2017
Ms Denise Phua Lay Peng
MP for Jalan Besar GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development why are there three occupants in a one-room rental unit in Senior Group Homes instead of the standard number of two occupants under the typical HDB rental housing scheme.
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development whether the Ministry will consider extending the Senior Group Home scheme to suitable adults with special needs whose families are no longer around or able to look after them.
The Senior Group Home model supports frail elderly in rental flats to age within the community, and delay premature institutionalisation of these seniors.
Each Senior Group Home is located in a public rental block and typically comprises 6 to 8 rental flats which can accommodate 12 to 18 seniors. The Senior Group Home is an assisted living model where seniors can live independently in the community and provide mutual support to one another. They are paired with their room-mates as buddies, and help to look out for each other. The number of seniors per unit is determined by the rental unit’s configuration, the seniors’ mobility status and the use of assistive devices, such as a wheelchair.
Having 3 seniors staying together raises the level of mutual support, which is important as Senior Group Homes are not designed to provide round-the-clock care. Such a configuration also takes into account the eventual demand for places as our population ages. Having said that, the SGH operators are learning from actual experience as they operationalise the scheme, and if necessary we will make adjustments along the way.
Seniors with special needs who are eligible for HDB public rental housing, and are suitable for communal living, can be supported in the Senior Group Home. There are currently visually-impaired seniors in the Senior Group Homes. Senior Group Homes are unable to support adults with moderate disabilities as there is no round-the-clock supervision.
For adults with special needs whose families are no longer able to look after them, MSF will take their care needs into account, and help to site them in the appropriate residential setting, such as an adult disability home.