Considering Singapore’s ageing population, there are numerous programs and plans in place to assist seniors with their diverse care needs. That said, adopt the Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) program if you’re seeking to improve the accessibility of your home into a safer and far more welcoming to the elderly.
An Overview of the HDB Ease Programme
What Is the Enhancement for Active Senior (EASE) Programme?
The Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) Program, essentially, was launched in 2012 as a component of the Home Improvement Program (HIP) to enhance the standard of living of older adults living in HDB flats by guaranteeing that their environment caters to the needs of the elderly. Generally, s Subsidies under this scheme can often cover between 87.5% and 95% of the expense of home improvements.
Modifications including ramps and slip-resistant flooring will be introduced to HDB flats as part of this funded initiative aimed at making them more elderly-friendly. Additionally eligible are Singaporean flat owners who live with senior loved ones who need support with one or even more Activities of Daily Living (ADL).
Being a part of HDB’s Home Improvement Program, EASE is a government initiative that strives to make ageing HDB apartments increasingly comfortable and secure. If your apartment is chosen for HIP, these modifications will be made immediately.
What Is the Scope of the EASE Programme?
The EASE program addresses three major HDB modifications:
To lower the likelihood of falling or slipping, safety grab bars are routinely put in restrooms and toilets purpose of providing extra support for seniors, particularly those who require mobility devices.
Such toilets’ grab bars are also intended to help the elderly keep their balance, hold their weight when moving, and relieve weariness while standing. Caregivers could also utilize grab bars installed to assist in moving their seniors from one location to another.
Ramps are mostly used to make it easier for wheelchair users or handicapped people to get into and out of their houses. It may also be beneficial for older adults who are using e-scooters or other motorized or electronic mobility devices for mobility purposes at home or even in public.
Considering our older loved one’s safety, using ramps is unquestionably safer than hauling a wheelchair up or down the staircase.
Nonetheless, each flat can have up to five ramps added under the EASE Program of the Housing and Development Board. It might consist of a:
- Single-step ramp
- Portable ramp flat type (for multi-step entrance)
- Customised ramp (for multi-step entrance)
Slip-resistant Floor Treatment
Several older folks drag their legs or cannot elevate them quite so much because of their limited mobility. In turn, elders are at a higher risk of falling at home. To remedy this, if you live with such a senior at home, you must assure that your floors are slip-resistant.
Also, slip-resistant floor reduces walking and slipping concerns for seniors, resulting in a safer manner in which they can continue to age comfortably. In addition, slip-resistant treatment can only be placed on existing floor tiles in a maximum of two bathrooms or toilets here under the program.
Available Government Subsidies for HDB EASE Programme
In general, the overall amount you should pay in addition to any subsidies available to your home will be determined by your property type. That said, the smaller the size of your apartment, hence more subsidies to earn. Similarly, the larger your home, the more you are going to have to spend.
The anticipated overall cost of the whole three-item package begins at $2,500, before subsidies, with the actual price varied based on the type of ramp to be constructed. The sum there is eventually to pay is additionally determined by the kind of flat you choose, with the government covering up to 95% of the entire cost. The projected expenses for the specific elements, after government subsidies, are listed in the table below.
EASE package cost breakdown with portable ramps:
EASE package cost breakdown with single-step ramps:
EASE package cost breakdown with customised ramps:
How to Become Eligible?
To be eligible for the EASE Direct Application program, you must be a Singaporean flat owner who lives with a close relative who is:
- 65 years and older
- Between the ages of 60 and 64, and in need of assistance with one or more Activities of Daily Living
These ADLs are activities that include everyday self-care within the home. It involves showering, dressing, eating, using the bathroom, mobility, and moving items.
Application Process for the HDB EASE Programme
Qualified seniors can apply through the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) or straight through EASE Direct Application. Applicants whose housing units do not fit the HIP may submit an application for EASE. In general, applications submitted through Direct Application take less time for processing, therefore those who want to acquire their flat improvements earlier may explore this option.
Please download and fill out the forms available on the HDB website to apply. After completing all required forms, send in your application using the EASE Direct Application e-Service on the HDB portal or rather the Mobile@HD mobile app. Please keep in mind that applications not completed through any of these channels will be ineligible for the program.
If you live with an elderly relative aged 60 to 64 who needs ADL support, you must first complete a Functional Assessment Report before completing your EASE application. The report must be authorized by a professional evaluator, including a Singapore Medical Council-registered doctor.
After completion of your application, the HDB Branch managing your property will contact you within 7 business days. Following that, an HDB employee or an HDB-approved contractor will notify you to schedule a pre-condition assessment or installation date. Additionally, from application to implementation, the complete process will take around a month. For additional information on how this process work, check out the government’s guide on the programme.
Are There Additional Ways to Make My Home Increasingly Accessible to the Elderly?
Adding grab bars and ramps aren’t the sole solution to making your home more accessible to older family members. These are some household modifications you may make to render your residence more elderly-friendly and reduce the probability of them slipping or falling at home.
Remove Electrical Cord Clutter
Electrical cables can trip elderly people who may not be capable to see properly or move sufficiently quickly to prevent or stabilize themselves. Although a simple trip may seem insignificant to younger folks, it can result in hairline fractures and catastrophic injuries in the elderly.
Make the Switch to Automatic Cookware
Get electric kettles that turn off after the water boils to decrease the likelihood of an accidental fire. Also, you should look into getting induction stovetops, which use electromagnetic currents rather than gas. Whenever a stove is left unattended, this could also help lessen the probability of a fire.
Minimize Tripping Hazards Like Slippery Surfaces
Polished marble floors might appear pleasant and expensive, but they become incredibly slippery in wet conditions. A carpet, on the contrary hand, may wrinkle and lead an elderly family member to trip. One solution is to wear rubber-soled slippers around the house. But, continue to replace them as the soles grow worn out.
In addition to the EASE program for home modifications for seniors, there are numerous other strategies for making your apartment safer and better for your senior loved ones. Convenient, easy improvements that pass the elderly friendly home guidelines that you may make include converting to automatic cookware to reduce the chance of accidental fires, avoiding slippery surfaces, and appropriately putting electrical wires to avoid falls.
Nevertheless, in the end, having a professional caregiver by your ageing loved one’s side who guarantees their welfare may prove to be the safest approach to prevent accidents. It significantly decreases the likelihood of accidents and also assures that they receive immediate assistance in the unfortunate event of an accident.