Singapore is one of those Asian countries which take pride in its effective healthcare system, which in effect, results to lower mortality rates and higher life expectancy rates.
However, an ageing population also has its own set of problems, one of which is age-related illnesses such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, among others, which will require a unique type of approach covering medical, legal, and social aspects, which will also require participation from relevant sectors of society in order to work effectively.
Gov’t Eases Application for Lasting Power of Attorney to Benefit Residents
In line with this, the government announced that those who wish to apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) will be able to do so more quickly under the new environment set by the legal system, as shared in a report by Channel News Asia.
This is important because an LPA allows an appointed person to make medical and financial decisions on another person’s behalf should they lose mental capacity, which usually falls right on the case of the elderly people.
Under the new changes, the mandatory waiting period before an LPA can be registered will be halved from the current six weeks down to three.
According to Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, “This reduces the overall time required to make an LPA, but it is also sufficiently long for relevant parties to be informed that an LPA has been filed, and to withdraw it if necessary.”
Furthermore, an online portal will be launched from Aug 1, to allow people to access their registered LPA electronically.
As of June this year, approximately 67,000 citizens have registered for an LPA.
At present, one in 10 people aged 60 and above in Singapore has dementia, which translates to an estimated 82,000 people, as per the data from the Institute of Mental Health.
However, this number is expected to exceed 100,000 by 2030.
In line with this, Mr Lee pointed out that more needs to be done to support people with dementia as well as their caregivers.
This highlights the fact that it can be difficult for a family when a member has been diagnosed with dementia, but has not made an LPA.
Mr. Lee also pointed out that the process can sometimes be long-drawn and complicated, and many family members are also unsure of their duties after being appointed as Deputies.
This being the case, the Government has done its part to improve support for caregivers and family members – and the said move has been one of the more important additions to strengthen this cause.