Types Of Out-Of-Home Care

Senior care homes, nursing homes, and retirement centres and villages are a relatively new concept in Malaysia. There are some well-established elderly care facilities that have been around for many years, but given the number of beds that is needed due to the country’s swelling ageing population, the concept is still very much in its infancy.

Senior Care Homes

Senior Care Homes

The term senior care home is also commonly referred to among many Malaysians as an ‘old folks home’. Care homes offer a smaller, more home-like family setting for the elderly. Care homes offer food services and assistance with daily living, but do not typically have a medical professional on site. Limited, part-time medical care is offered, but it’s not a primary focus of this type of elderly community living.

Care homes are traditionally end-of-care facilities, where an elderly person can no longer be cared for by family and friends at home and are transferred to a care facility to live out the rest of their days in comfort.

Currently, there are not sufficient enough Government welfare and charitable elderly care beds available. It is important to note that there are several well-respected and dedicated centres across the country with an excellent reputation for quality care.

Private care homes traditionally operate in large bungalow houses or lots in residential areas with as many as 50 beds in a single location. The cost of private care homes can vary depending on the home, its type of services, and whether it is a single or shared occupancy.

Nursing Homes

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide a high level of personalised elderly care. Round-the-clock care is provided by registered nurses and trained caregivers. Staff predominately come from Malaysia, the Philippines and Southern Asia.

Services include acute, specialist memory care (dementia), elderly with mobility challenges, and management of bedridden patients. The larger nursing homes offer up to 200 beds in large purpose-built buildings.

With a wide spectrum of fees, it is essential to visit each shortlisted nursing home to ensure it meets your expectations. For guidance, please refer to the list of 20 Questions to Ask an Elderly Care Facility (link) or
click on the ECA Advisory (a link) for support in selecting the right home for your loved one.

Private nursing homes vary in cost from a RM1,000+ per person per month for board, food to round-the-clock care costing in excess of RM6,500. Please note, these fees often do not include medicine, physiotherapy, medical fees and other specialised treatment.

Three core challenges face both elderly care centres and nursing homes in Malaysia:

  • there is a nationwide shortage of qualified nursing staff in Malaysia. Care facility owners often experience challenges in securing work permits for the number of foreign staff needed to cater to demand.
  • a one-size-fits-all approach to managing the needs of the elderly patients is often applied. When visiting care facilities, discuss your loved one’s individual care plan with the centre manager and their assigned care provider(s). Please refer to the 10 Questions to Ask a Senior Caregiver for guidance.

Retirement Centres, Resorts and Villages

Retirement Centres, Resorts and Villages

Retirement centres offer self-contained residential housing in the form of apartments, condominiums, or houses to those aged 55 years and above.

The new resort concepts are fully self sustaining with grocery, sundry, and personal care services such as a hairdresser and spa and fitness centre. Most are now integrated with 24-hour medical clinics and nursing care facilities.

The idea behind retirement centres and villages is that the elderly are able to continue their independence while benefiting from community living and medical assistance at hand.

Retirement resorts and villages are suitable for the elderly with no serious medical condition, and who are still mobile and able. There is a growing market for people who want to downsize their current home due to personal reasons, financial considerations, ‘empty nesters’ (parents whose children have left home) and individuals or couples who want to live hassle-free with their peers.

With experienced project developers, architects, and assisted living service providers from Australia and Japan actively involved in these developments or providing consultancy to local developers, the demand and trend will continue. Over the next decade, Malaysia will see a tremendous growth in the number of high-end retirement communities.

With Malaysia recently ranked sixth most popular destination in the world to retire by CNN Money in 2017, the government’s support of medical health care, and Malaysia My Second Home programme, this trend will only continue.

Day Care & Community Centres

Day Care & Community Centres

Many private nursing homes and elderly care centres offer day care as part of their service. The service often comes with the use of a daybed with prices ranging from RM70-RM180+ per day. Day-care centre hours are from 9- 6pm, but many day-care centres allow the elderly to come in as early as 7am and leave at 10pm to accommodate working families. Please check with the respective day-care centres if an extension of hours is permitted.

Families looking after an elderly loved one can take advantage of day-care facilities to support them for respite and a well-deserved break from care duties. This is especially important if both carers are working individuals and have no access to a domestic helper. Day-care centres provide a safe, and secure alternative. Furthermore, day-care centres can also provide the elderly with an opportunity to socialise and benefit from peer group activities.

Specialised Day-Care Centres

Specialised Day-Care Centres

There are approximately 123,000 people with dementia in Malaysia. The majority of elderly care centres and nursing homes in Malaysia integrate both dementia patients and non-dementia patients in their facilities.

For the elderly with dementia, specialist day-care centres offer dedicated memory care programmes. These programmes involve reorientation and reminiscent activities to help memory loss and cognitive stimulation. Art therapy provides stimulation and social interaction, while playing games such as mahjong, dominoes and cards assists to develop self-esteem and improve interpersonal interactions among peers.

There are five specialist adult dementia day-care centres in Malaysia. For more details on the centre locations, please contact Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia.

Download a list of questions to ask an Elderly Caregiver

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