The government of Singapore has introduced a new programme for the elderly that is intended to help them stay in their residences.  The service will provide housekeeping and vermin control. Beginning in April, “Hands for Homes” will replace mattresses of seniors living in rental apartments (flats) in order to keep units free of bedbugs. The government estimates that up to 6,000 units will be serviced over the next three years. Recent studies have shown that up to 40% of flats in the central district suffered from bedbug infestation. While bedbugs do not transport infectious diseases, their presence is uncomfortable and can rapidly spread to neighbouring units.

In addition to mattresses and bedbug control, the program will provide energy efficient light-bulbs and induction ovens. The program will be executed by volunteers or by seniors who are physically capable of helping (seniors will be paid a small stipend). The program is expected to improve social lives of elders who will be able to leave their flats to attend events at day centres and also improve seniors’ ability to sleep.  It is expected that both outcomes will allow elders to stay in their current accommodations and away from care homes that are resource intensive. You can read the full story here.  Are you interested in housing with services models? Then check out our upcoming “Housing with Services Study Tour”.