Singapore’s future elderly a pool of opportunities

Today, population aging is emerging as a major demographic trend worldwide. The island nation of Singapore is no exception to the greying of its population, with an estimated 20% of its residents hitting the full retirement age of 65 by 2030. The first wave of the Baby Boom generation is expected to reach the 65 mark by the coming 2012.

In retrospect, Baby Boomers in Singapore played an instrumental role in building the country into one of the world’s advanced economies. They were the beneficiaries of a developing educational system and also the primary contributors of industrialization growth.

More importantly, a majority of this generation will have better health and education. Up to 87% of the elderly were found to be physically independent while the number of them with university education will rise from 4% in 2010 to 13% by 2030. The Baby Boomers are also likely to be wealthier as well. Statistics show the rise in average monthly income from work at similar life stage down the years;

An aging population entails both opportunities and challenges;

This generation of future elderly represents a sizable ability pool with bountiful of experience and energy. It presents an array of opportunities for us to not only engage their participation, but also to leverage on their talents so that they can continue to contribute meaningfully to their families, communities and to society.

These group of elderly are also likely to be active in the fields of social and economic initiatives. They will have varying needs and aspirations that may pose as a challenge to policy makers. Policies and programmes designed for elderly care must be tailored sensitively to suit their range of requirements.

Aging issues are sophisticated and diverse. It is essential that the government, community agencies and the private sector work hand in hand towards an integrated approach to solve the growing problem. The Committee on Ageing Issues (CAI) established in 2004 was tasked to focus on the issues of elderly care. In the next post, we will take a closer look at the guiding principles and strategic framework adopted by the CAI in a bid to achieve their goal of “Successful Aging for Singapore.”

(Source: Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports: Committee on Ageing Issues)

(Image source: Straits Time)

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