How a More Holistic Approach Can Improve Elderly Care
Advances in modern healthcare are among the reasons why we are now living longer than ever before. But the challenge of caring for an ageing population is one that is exercising the minds of governments around the world.
In Singapore, a new study into elderly care policy has called for a more holistic approach that will being together housing, welfare, medical care and social care. The study, commissioned by the Lien Foundation and carried out by KPMG, wants more innovative solutions for elder care and with one third of Singapore’s population expected to be over the age of 65 by 2030, it is obvious that the need to evolve and innovate is essential.
KPMG’s researchers quizzed elderly care practitioners from 14 different countries and territories to gain a greater understanding of the separate policies operated around the globe. Their report, entitled “An uncertain age: Reimagining long-term care in the 21st century”, focused on 10 areas where policymakers could come together with care providers and caregivers to bring about radical change in elderly care.
The action areas included examining financial incentives for elderly care to be aimed at families and neighbours; giving individuals more control and autonomy over their own care; and improving facilities such as nursing homes. Greater integration of the different agencies of medical and social care was also pinpointed as essential for improving elderly care; for example, when a patient is discharged from hospital, better communication and links between agencies could ensure that long-term care is in place so the patient is not in danger of being ignored and left without any help at all.
The study acknowledged that finance is not a particular issue in elderly care in Singapore but did point out potential for improvement in this area.