Singapore and How They Approach Seniorcare

The lesson I learn from visiting Singapore is always to appreciate AC! If you didn’t know, Singapore is hot and humid alllllll year long. To top it off, they’re used to the humidity and often don’t blast their homes with AC like we do.  In fact, many Singapore residents don’t use AC at all.  Thankfully, my brother-in-law and sister were thoughtful enough to let Kev and I stay in a room that had aircon.  I could kiss them for that!!!

In my opinion, traveling is a necessity if you want perspective in life. You see people on the other side of the world do things differently and it reminds us that there is more than one way to do things.  Have you ever heard of the PBS documentary “Sick Around the World?”   This video visits five countries and explores how each country deals with healthcare.  We can learn from each other and if I had the chance, I’d love to travel the world and do a documentary on how each country cares for their seniors.  Wouldn’t THAT be interesting? Anyone want to sponsor me??

In Singapore, the government gives incentives to encourage young Singaporeans to live with or near their aging parents.  Now honestly living with my parents is not an attractive option for a newlywed like me (Sorry Mom and Dad).  BUT if there were some financial incentives involved, I definitely might be more likely to consider living with Mom and Dad.  Just need a little encouragement.

The majority of Singapore residents live in public housing and to get public housing, which is much cheaper than living in private flats, people must not exceed a certain household income ceiling.  If you live with or close to your parents though there are higher income ceilings for you and you can also get higher priority when trying to apply for new public housing flats.  In addition to these incentives, Singaporeans also receive income tax relief if they coreside with parents, grandparents, or great grandparents.

From what my sister shared, these incentives not only encourage families to care for the elderly, but it also encourages married women to have more children while remaining in the workforce.  It’s a two way street and something that might work for Americans don’t you think? If you were incentivized to live near or with your parents, wouldn’t it be better than having them live alone in their neighborhood, in their home? It may not make a difference now, but when your parents start getting in their 80’s or 90’s, it is definitely something to consider.