"The plan will enable us to build Singapore into the best home to age in," says Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor.
SINGAPORE: The Ministerial Committee on Ageing released a full Action Plan for Successful Ageing report on Wednesday (Feb 24), detailing more than 70 initiatives to empower Singaporeans to "age confidently and lead active lives, with strong bonds with family and community".
The national plan to help elderly Singaporeans stay active was launched by Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor at an SGfuture dialogue session on the “Future of Ageing”, following the Government's announcement last year that it would commit S$3 billion to its implementation.
POPULATION AGEING A 'GREAT OPPORTUNITY' FOR SINGAPOREANS: KHOR
Dr Amy Khor said the plan was the Government's response to an ageing population. "Population ageing is not something to fear, but a great opportunity for Singaporeans to maximise the opportunities from longevity," she said.
"The plan will enable us to build Singapore into the best home to age in," she added.
The initiatives cut across 12 areas – health and wellness, learning, volunteerism, employment, housing, transport, public spaces, respect and social inclusion, retirement adequacy, healthcare and aged care, protection for vulnerable seniors and research.
Key initiatives under the plan include the raising of the re-employment age from 65 to 67 by 2017 to enable seniors to work longer if they are willing and able to, with the possibility of further increases in the future as the population ages.
To encourage lifelong learinng, a National Silver Academy will provide about 30,000 learning places for seniors to pursue their interests.
By 2020, the Ministry of Health will more than double the number of community hospital beds and increase nursing home places by more than 70 per cent. Home and community care places will be increased by 50 and 100 per cent respectively.
Eldercare and childcare facilities will be co-located in about 10 new Housing and Development Board (HDB) developments, and an estimated 40 daycare centres for seniors will be set up by 2020.
Home visitation programmes will be expanded in at least 50 neighbourhoods to "keep social isolation and poor health at bay among vulnerable seniors" and the Committee aims to recruit 50,000 senior volunteers within the next 10 to 15 years, it said.
Meanwhile, the Land Transport Authority will implement measures to improve the accessibility of the road and transport network, including replacing all buses with wheelchair-accessible ones by 2020 and installing lifts at an additional 41 pedestrian overhead bridges by 2018.
Separately, the National Research Foundation will set aside up to S$200 million for a National Innovation Challenge on Active and Confident Ageing.
The Committee will distribute 40,000 copies of the report to the public over the next few months, it said. The report can also be downloaded in full online.