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New care service to ease burden on caregivers of elderly

The Centre-based Weekend Respite Care programme launched on Monday (July 14) aims to support caregivers who need to fulfil urgent work commitments or run errands.

SINGAPORE: The Agency for Integrated Care on Monday (July 14) launched weekend respite care services to help caregivers of the elderly.

Called the Centre-Based Weekend Respite Care programme, it supports caregivers should they need to take time off during the weekends for urgent work commitments or to run errands.

This service is currently available at seven centres island-wide - including Sembawang, Bukit Batok, Tampines and Toa Payoh - and these centres provide a total of 180 places each weekend.

Eligible seniors can receive up to 80 per cent of Government funding should they require the service. Before the funding, the cost of the weekend session ranges between S$36 and S$68 per weekend depending on the level of care needed.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the aim is for the number of centres to increase to 10 centres over the next two year, providing a total of 280 places.

"With the service, we hope that caregivers can take a break now and then to recharge, catch up with their personal and social life or run errands. Caregivers can also have a peace of mind if they fall sick or if they want to attend peer support group or caregiver training," said Mr Gan.

"By giving them some time to take care of themselves, caregivers can also take better care of their seniors."

Among the first to roll out this programme is the NTUC Health Co-operative Silver Circle SCC at Serangoon Central. Since the service was introduced in April, it has benefited some 40 elderly and their caregivers.

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