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Home care is the next area of care in Singapore that needs to be developed. To be effective, it has to be multi-disciplinary. 

A Home Care Committee has been formed in the Singapore Medical Association and chaired by its President, Dr Cheong Pak Yean and co-chaired by Dr Mary Ann Tsao, President of the Tsao Foundation. Members of the Committee represent the breadth of organisations that are involved in the delivery of home care, namely,  Home Nursing Foundation,  the Tsao Foundation, the Touch Community Services and the Singapore Nurses Association, Society for Geriatric Medicine, Singapore and network of voluntary nursing homes. The Division of Elderly Services in the Ministry of Health is also represented in this Committee. 

The Committee held its first meeting on 30 July 1997 and identified 3 immediate tasks. 

Three tasks ahead 
1.  Development of training module and support of Home Care Technical Committee for ITE

  • Curriculum 
  • Competency profile 
  • Skills and standard 
  • Tasks  for  supervised  field  training 
  • Assessment 
  • Monitoring 
  • Identification of curriculum development group 
  • Identification of trainers  
  • Identification of field placements  
  • Development of course structure
2.  Development of home care system 
  • Define mechanism for supervising trained home care assistants (ie patient care assignments; quality monitoring; reporting structure etc.) 
  • Define structure for employing and assigning trained homecare assistants 
  • Liaise with various groups and bodies to plan and implement home care system 
  • Define approaches to home-based medical care system in Singapore context. There are a variety of approaches which can include: 

  • -  physician who provides out-patient medical care and liaises with nurse/home care assistant 
    -  home-based multi-disciplinary team (doctor, nurse, social worker etc.) who provide and coordinate on-going care in patientís home) 

3.  Homecare Association 

  • Consider need for Home care Association for future development and monitoring of the home care sector. 
Training of the Home Health Care Assistants 
The Committee has identified several goals for the ITE Home Care Assistant Module, which will be developed as an additional module to the existing ITE Healthcare Training programme. 

Goals & objectives 
1. Provide supportive care at home, eg. personal care, home maintenance, errands and 
    escort services to increasing numbers of community-based elderly. Such care provided 
    will help shorten length of hospital stay and delay premature nursing home placement 
2. Support and maintain functional abilities of elderly and support quality of life 
3. Support and decrease stress on family caregivers and support value of care of elderly  
    within family setting 

Major roles of home care assistants: 
1. Provision of personal care services 
2. Provision of home maintenance (including errands) 
3. Provision of escort services 
4. Support and supplement family carers 

Target clients to be considered for home services: 
1. Frail and physically disabled elderly 
2. Other physically disabled adults (eg. paraplegic adults) 
3. Elderly with mental disabilities (eg. dementia; psychiatric illnessess) 
4. Adults with psychiatric illnessess (eg. schizophrenia) 
5. Proposed home care programme to exclude maternal and child health 

Settings to be considered for home care assistants: 
1. Homes 
2. Nursing homes 
3. Sheltered homes 
4. Day care or multi-service centres 

Home care is the next area of care in Singapore that needs to be developed. To be effective, it has to be multi-disciplinary. The home care assistant is an important member of the team.