Singapore’s 5-year pilot to improve ageing-in-place
Singapore, being the country with the world’s second fastest aging population is making strides to prepare for what lies ahead. In the Marine Parade estate, residents can expect to see the addition of larger signboards, better seats, and strategic rest stops in the near future. This is part of the 5-year pilot announced by the government in 2010 to establish an elderly friendly Marine Parade estate.
To be rolled out in 3 phases, the first phase involved identifying the needs of the elderly to better locate the amenities accessed frequently by them.
Approximately 2,500 elderly residents were surveyed, and the popular requests on flats improvements include the fitting of non-slip tiles within bathrooms, bigger peep-holes on the main door, and switches at reachable height. A majority also reckoned that the construction of sheltered walkways, fitness corners, and lifts for the overhead bridge would bring greater convenience and benefits to the elderly community.
Currently, work on phase 2 is underway to develop and pilot interventions based on these surveyed results. The idea of situating clinics under flats is under consideration to respond to rising healthcare needs of the elderly population. Social challenges faced by the seniors will be tackled by the introduction of initiatives aimed at spurring social participation and inclusion.
The results drawn from the evaluation phase in 2015 will offer insights as to how an inclusive environment encompassing both physical infrastructure and community facets for aging-in-place could be shaped and be replicated to other estates. This will better brace Singapore for the imminent impact from the silver tsunami, and sustain its elderly population in a more effective manner.