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Expository – the Elderly

August 24, 2011

-these Singaporeans have spent a lifetime working hard to build Singapore up, whether as coolies or managers, and should be looked after during their sunset years, many believe.

-By 2030, one out of five Singaporeans are 65 years or older. Today, one out of twelve Singaporeans are 65 or older.

Only 27% of Singaporeans between 25 and 75 said they have sufficient funds to retire, compared with 61% of Thais and 47% of Malaysians, according to an insurance company survey

-Singapore life expectancy is 81.7 years, the world’s third highest, even ahead of Japan (81.25 years)

-… the well-funded ComCare Fund – now holding $800 million – may be enhanced to provide more buffer for the needy

-The government’s new $1 billion Community Silver Trust, a dollar-for-dollar matching scheme to boost funding to volunteer welfare organisations (VWOs) that provide long term care to the elderly.

SMRT will raise its support for BWOs, through its own Silver Tribute Fund, which raised some $3 million for more than 10000 needy elderly people and their caregivers since 2006.

-Mr Wee Lin, chairman of Sunlove Abode for Intellectually Infirmed, noted that charities for children tend to get more attention than those for the mentally ill or the elderly, for children are the future.

-According to a new Active Ageing Index, the elderly in Singapore fall short in three areas: health, financial security and community engagement, defined by the WHO. The majority, about 80% achieved a medium level of active ageing.

Chronic conditions that occur more commonly in the elderly are hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol and triglycerides), heart disease, hearing loss and arthritis. An often forgotten aspect is that of nutrition (underweight/overweight).

-The elderly often under-report hearing loss. They also frequently do not report defective hearing aids and furthermore, underuse hearing aids when prescribed. The oral cavity and dentures, if any, should be looked at. Ill-fitting dentures are not an uncommon cause of poor nutrition.

-One often missed clinical sign is that of postural hypotension (feel giddy after standing up from squatting).

-Between now and 2030, Singapore will witness an unprecedented profound age shift. The number of residents aged 65 years old and above will increase 3 times from current 300000 to 900000 in 2010. By then, one out of every 5 residents will be a senior, The coming surge of seniors, which starts when the first batch of baby boomers reach 65 years of age in 2012, will have tremendous effect on all parts of our society – individual, community, businesses and the government.

-All new buses should be low-floor, step-free and wheelchair accessible. This will benefit not just seniors but also other groups such as young parents with children in prams and those with physical disabilities.

-We need to ensure that elderly has access to a seamless continuum(range) of healthcare and eldercare services which should maintain dignity and quality of life for seniors and avoid institutionalisation as far as possible.

-The government should top up Medisave account of less well-off Singaporeans when there are budget surpluses to help defray healthcare costs as Singaporeans depend on Medisave to meet healthcare needs in old age.


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