Singapore is quickly filling up with elderly folks and since we don't want to send them to nursing homes in Johor Bahru, we have to build developments that allow these seniors to age gracefully and comfortably.
One such concept is housing developments "twinned" with care services, announced by Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor at the Ministry of Health (MOH)'s Committee of Supply debate on Wednesday, March 7.
These new types of developments are currently being studied by MOH and the Ministry of National Development (MND). They are meant to provide a form of "assisted" living, which will allow elderly folk to live independently, but also have access to support and amenities like 24-hour monitoring and basic domestic services such as laundry and housekeeping.
One example of an elderly-friendly housing development would be the experimental Kampung Admiralty -- Singapore's first "Retirement Kampung", opened in 2017:
There, elderly folks have the option of purchasing studio apartments which are equipped with elderly-friendly features such as non-slip flooring, retractable clothes-drying racks, and induction hobs which do not utilise open flames.
There's even a dedicated medical centre managed by the Alexandra Health System that provides outpatient consultations and day surgery services.
App-based health marketplace in the works
Another initiative to help make the lives of elderly folks easier is an app-based "health marketplace".
Citing how consumers today are digitally-savvy and use e-platforms such as Amazon and Redmart, Khor said the Ministry is looking into creating a similar platform for medical services that will be elder-friendly.
The app, which will likely launch in the coming year, will make it easy for elderly folks and their caregivers to order things like "home care, medical escorts and transport, and meals on wheels".
Top image of design of Kampung Admiralty via WOHA, the architectural firm behind the project.