It is no secret that Singapore’s population is rapidly ageing. In the past decade alone, the proportion of elderly residents and ageing parents aged 65 years and older nearly doubled, from 8.8% in 2009 to 14.4% in 2019. More worryingly, the growing elderly population in Singapore is more unhealthy than before, with a recent study showing that the number of elderly Singaporeans struggling with multiple chronic illnesses has surged in recent years.
This resulted in a dilemma of whether to hire in-house round-the-clock help at home for elderly patients with little mobility, hiring per-hour basis nurses and doctors for medical help, or use house call doctor services instead of opting for nursing home for ageing parents.
With more adults working outside of the home, the more effective house call doctor service for our elderly population is now more plausible. It seems to be the gap-bridging we need to provide the quality healthcare that they need? Instead of stressing over getting home-bound elderly dependents to the clinic, consider investing in house call doctors instead. Our house call services for chronic conditions and vaccinations are MediSave claimable, which lets you pay less cash out of pocket to keep the elderly protected and healthy.
There are many reasons why ageing patients might prefer a house call doctor. Most of all, it is convenient. For many able-bodied adults, going to a clinic is not a big issue, but this is not the case for some elderly dependents who have probably weighed in on the nursing home option. For example, older patients with chronic conditions tend to be less mobile, making trips to the clinic more difficult and tiring. Or, if they are in a wheelchair, then it might require help from family members to get them out of the house. All of this creates a very stressful environment that does not help when someone is already feeling unwell.
To overcome this, house call for seniors remove the need to physically go to the clinic in the first place. When you have an elderly dependent who is feeling unwell or just requires an annual checkup, just pick up your phone and book a consultation with one of Speedoc’s licensed medical professionals.
Whether you have brought your elderly dependent to a polyclinic or a general practitioner (GP), you will probably have to wait to see the doctor. You may have checked out a few nursing homes near you, or considered hiring full-time nursing nursing staff to care for your elderly parents at home.
But, after waiting in line, how long does the consultation with the doctor usually take? A recent survey of GP clinics found that while opening hours are now shorter, the number of patients has not changed. What does this suggest? Patients are getting less time with doctors.
When a house call doctor or nurse visits your home for a check-up or follow-up tests, they focus on none other than the elderly patient in front of them. The kind of personal attention has also been reported to be worlds away from what ageing patients can get at nursing homes for elderly patients.
Ensuring that elderly patients get enough time to develop a rapport with their doctors is important — it allows them to build trust with the healthcare system. This is why house call doctors, who will give their undivided attention to the elderly patient during a home consultation, works perfectly for your elderly dependent. House call doctors are also better placed to provide more personalised medical care based on their needs, such as preventative medicine, managing chronic illnesses, nursing care, and more.
What’s more, if there is any follow-up needed after the house call doctor visits or teleconsultation, our app allows you to chat in-app with the doctor. No more extra clinic visits!
Singapore has a very good healthcare system, but the reality of it is that it is not well-prepared to deal with our ageing population. There is a shortage of healthcare workers in medical facilities across the country to care for ailing patients, even while the government is taking steps to build more daycare centres and nursing homes to house more elderly.
Instead, house call doctors and nurses have stepped up to help bridge this gap. After all, an elderly dependent who consults with a house call doctor is one less patient in the hospital or a nursing home. But, more importantly, studies have suggested that elderly patients actually benefit further from these visits. For example, in the U.S., house calls have reduced expensive hospitalisations, as well as lowered hospital readmission rates.
Why? The answer might be simpler than you think: home-based eldercare helps ageing patients to manage their own health with personalised healthcare in the comfort of one’s home. It's also personally empowering.
Aged healthcare can be expensive and this becomes even truer when an elderly dependent has one or multiple chronic illnesses. In fact, it is projected that by 2030, an average of slightly over US$37,000 will be spent on just one elderly person’s healthcare. In part, many Singaporean families decides to opt for sending their ageing parents to nursing homes for the senior members of their families.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that you’ll spend that much on your elderly dependent’s healthcare. It depends on factors, such as whether they’re in a wheelchair, or how many chronic illnesses they currently have, as these might affect how much you spend on **transport **and long-term medicine and check-ups.
When we zoom in healthcare costs for the elderly, we might make you think that house call doctors are not worth it, but they might actually prove to be the more efficient option in some cases. For example, a house call doctor would be a perfect solution instead of paying for the transport cost of a homebound patient, which could cost upwards of S$100, or for the management of chronic conditions.
Still wondering how much house call doctors will cost you? Our house call services provide upfront and transparent pricing before booking confirmation, so you know exactly how much you will pay beforehand. Plus, we provide subsidies for home-bound elderly with chronic illnesses or disabilities who require long-term medical care.
If you are interested in booking a consultation with our licensed medical care professionals, you can make an appointment by downloading our app on the App Store or Google Play Store, or contact our hotline at +65 8180 8948.