Towards the golden years

Inclusive future: People gathering at the Merlion park along Marina Bay. As Singapore’s population ages, the government aims to keep older people employed for a longer time and connected to society. — AFP

A national programme to empower older adults to improve and maintain their health as they age will be reaching out to more than half a million people aged 50 and above over the next five years.

The Live Well, Age Well programme, which is run by the Health Promotion Board and People’s Association, is part of Singapore’s 2023 action plan for successful ageing.

The plan also includes efforts to keep older people employed for a longer time, as well as connected to society and loved ones.

The revised plan, an update of the 2015 Action Plan for Successful Ageing blueprint, was launched yesterday by the Ministerial Committee on Ageing – helmed by Health Minister Ong Ye Kung – at the Ci Yuan Community Centre in Hougang.

The ageing population is an urgent issue that the plan is addressing.

By 2030, it is estimated that one in four people here will be 65 and above, as Singaporeans are living longer and having fewer babies. More seniors will also be living alone.

The Live Well, Age Well programme, which offers activities such as low-impact aerobics and qigong sessions, as well as educational sessions on mental well-being, is being gradually introduced in places such as community clubs and active ageing centres.

Ong said that he hopes the people the government plans to reach out to for the Live Well, Age Well programme over the next five years will enrol in the Healthier SG initiative, which will start in the second half of 2023.

Healthier SG is a preventive care initiative, where residents, starting with those aged 60 and above, will be invited to enrol with a family doctor who will help develop a personalised care plan for them.

Under the action plan, a grant and a credit scheme to support the hiring of older workers will be extended to let seniors work longer.

Singapore raised the retirement age of workers here from 62 to 63 and the re-employment age from 67 to 68 in 2022. The target is to increase the retirement age to 65 and the re-employment age to 70 by 2030. — The Straits Times/ANN

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