The Senior Minister of State for Health, Dr Amy Khor addressed the various issues that were raised by some of the ministers. She responded on the various aspects to help and take care of the elderly. For example, Dr Lily Neo from Jalan Besar GRC mentioned that currently there are not enough home care services. Dr Amy replied in regards to home care that the government will continue to work hard and improve the infrastructure and manpower so as to be able to meet the projected demand of 10,000 home care and 6,200 day-care places by the year 2020 (Lim, 2016).In regards to Ms Joan Pereira from Tanjong Pagar GRC who wanted to know if there are enough eldercare centres, hospice and step-down community hospitals to cope with the number of seniors who are increasing. Dr Amy Khor also replied that the Health Ministry is trying out new packages that will combine home and centre-based care services together.
On the issue of epidemic of dementia by Ms Tin Pei Ling from MacPherson SMC, Dr Amy Khor has replied that the focus is on ministry’s community mental health efforts. There will be support from three home intervention teams to help those who care for their loved ones with dementia at home.The government plans to have 3,000 dementia day care places, 1,970 dementia nursing home beds and 160 elder-sitters by year 2020. Besides increasing caregiving capacity, Dr Khor has also appealed to the public to display the Singapore kampung spirit and hope that everyone can play a part in supporting the elderly who has dementias and assist the caregivers within the communities. The health ministry would also like to increase awareness in befriending communities all over the country to counter social isolation among the elderly.
Dr Khor has also acknowledged that if everyone can come together to build a nation suitable for all ages, then Singapore will become an icon of ageing. But at the moment, there is still a big gap between ambition and reality (Lim, 2016).