As your parents get older, their muscles and joints get weaker. In addition, they are more prone to major injuries and illnesses. When this happens, you may notice them struggling to get around like they used to. If their conditions are severe, they may even require the assistance of a personal mobility aid (PMA). However, if your finances are tight, you may find that you cannot afford a PMA device.
Thankfully, the Singapore government has introduced various schemes to subsidise such expenditures associated with elderly care to help Singaporeans cope with their financial burden. Let us share a list of financial assistance schemes available and how you can apply for them.
Senior’s Mobility and Enabling Fund
The Senior’s Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) is a financial scheme offered by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC). The proposal aims to provide the elderlies with financial aids to help them live independently within the community. If either of your parents requires the use of a PMA device to get around, you will be glad to know that motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters are covered under this fund.
Your parent has to be a Singapore citizen aged 60 years and older to qualify for the scheme. Before your application is approved, your family must undergo a financial assessment to ensure your monthly household income per person is $2000 or below. However, for households with no income, their residence's annual value has to be $13000 and below.
Moreover, your parent must undergo an assessment by a qualified accessor, such as a fully registered therapist or certified doctor, so that they can determine the appropriate device to prescribe. Lastly, it is crucial to note that a senior can only submit a claim for this scheme once. So, if there is a prior claim under the SMF for a similar device, their application will be rejected.
Assistive Technology Fund
The Assistive Technology Fund (ATF) is dedicated to Singaporeans with disabilities who require assistive equipment to regain their independence. Qualified individuals can utilise this scheme to purchase, repair, or upgrade their devices, including a personal mobility aid. The fund can help subsidise up to 90% of the cost of the device, subject to a maximum limit of $40000.
Your parent must be a Singapore citizen, or Permanent Resident, with a chronic disability to qualify for the proposal. Additionally, your household's gross monthly income per person must be $2000 and below. If either of your parents meets the criteria, and you wish to apply on their behalf, you have to approach a social worker and an accessor from the relevant touchpoints, such as hospitals and social service agencies, to assist in the request.
Similar to the SMF, your parent must undergo an assessment by a qualified accessor to ascertain their needs and the device suitable for them. You will also be required to fill out a Means-Test Declaration Form to disclose your financial information. However, if you have a valid means-test result within the last two years, you need not submit a new form again.
Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme
Suppose either of your parents is part of the Pioneer Generation and is suffering from a disability. In that case, they may be entitled to $100 per month to cover their daily expenses as part of the Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme (PioneerDAS). Your family can use this financial aid to offset the cost of the mobility device.
One of your parents must be included in the Pioneer Generation Package and currently lives in Singapore to be eligible for the scheme. Additionally, he or she must require assistance with at least three of the six tasks of daily living. These activities are:
- Using the toilet
- Walking or moving around
- Transferring to and from a bed
You can apply to receive the payout on behalf of your parent by logging on to AIC’s eService portal with your Singpass and selecting the “As a caregiver” option.
It is agonising to lose your mobility. We rely on our bodies to perform numerous vital functions. When our physical capabilities are taken away from us, we struggle to cope with this new reality. However, a mobility device can help those affected regain some of their independence, which is why you should consider getting one.
If your family is facing financial issues and cannot afford a personal mobility aid, despite it being a necessity, know there are various avenues for you to seek help from.