Silver tsunami: Homes meeting elderly needs

By EdgeProp Singapore | June 26, 2018 9:00 AM SGT
The community plaza is on the ground floor of Kampung Admiralty, alongside franchised eateries like MOS Burger, Starbucks, and Ya Kun Kaya Toast (Credit: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
The grounds of Kampung Admiralty are buzzing with activity — children are running about, while grandparents and helpers look on, seated on concrete benches. The community plaza is cool even on a hot day. Ventilation comes from a large eight-blade ceiling fan and an air well, which also lets light in. Surrounded by eateries, the plaza is a gathering place for people.
This sets the tone for Singapore’s first public retirement village, where childcare and senior centres are co-located. Kampung Admiralty is the first of 10 such HDB housing precincts that the government intends to roll out over the next decade. It is part of a $3 billion plan unveiled in 2015 to prepare the nation for the rise in an ageing population, covering more than 70 initiatives, including housing, employment, health and wellness.
Phua Kai Hong, health policy professor at the Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) School of Public Policy, believes that a crucial problem faced by an ageing population is the lack of social support. “When families get smaller and adult children live farther away from their parents, it’s harder for them to take care of their elderly folks,” he says. This is why designing facilities that will promote social integration is vital in a retirement village, he points out. “Facilities such as void decks and support services such as medical clinics, childcare and eldercare would promote interaction between those of different generations,” he says.
The government’s effort to create common spaces in Kampung Admiralty has worked. In the activities hub on the sixth floor, for instance, a small crowd of elderly people utilise the space to play board games, while some pack their own food to eat with friends. The childcare centre is also located on the sixth floor, alongside the rehabilitation and elderly activities hub.
Yishun Health Campus runs a two-level medical centre and pharmacy in Kampung Admiralty (Credit: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
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