Insights to the ageing population

Today, I attended the “Rethinking Health and Wellness Sharing Session”, a follow-up to the two earlier workshops organised by the DesignSingapore Council, and the design consultancies shared some takeway points. Here are some of the slides from Orcadesign and SupraCopula on “Empathetic Ageing with Technology”:

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Road safety for seniors

Silver Zone sign at Bukit Merah View.

Last year, Singapore launched the Silver Zones with enhanced road safety measures to make it convenient and safer for senior pedestrians. Two areas – Bukit Merah and Jurong West – are already completed, with three more housing estates on the island to come.

Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Health, and chairman of the Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety Committee (PCSC) Associate Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim shared during the launch that seniors are “over-represented” in traffic accidents and the situation needs to be improved.

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Best activities for seniors’ mental health

Exercise, Tai chi and qigong, self-help through books (bibliotherapy), computer-based therapies or computer games, and reminiscing on the challenges a senior has overcome in life came out tops as the most effective activities for improving the emotional well-being of older people. These activities were detailed in a new booklet (left) developed for aged care workers to help them identify and protect the mental health of older Australians.

Said beyondblue’s CEO Georgie Harman, “Around one in 10 older adults experiences depression and a similar number experiences anxiety. Mental health conditions are even more common among older people in the community who are frail and need support to remain at home, and among those in residential care. Research shows nearly 35 percent of people living in residential care facilities have depression.”

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New research institute in Singapore

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower, graced the launch of the Next Age Institute.

Care support for older persons and financing retirement adequacy are just a few things that a new research institute will be tackling. The Next Age Institute (NAI) was recently set up by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in partnership with the Washington University of St Louis (WUSTL) to study, design and test social innovations to address social issues arising from an ageing population.

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Living forever

Imagine you could live to 120 years or more … or do you want to as it certainly disrupts the way Nature has intended. But then again who wants to live long coupled with debilitating diseases?

As medical technology continues its steady march to the future, we can certainly ponder what could be in store for our future, maybe not mine but maybe for the enviable next generation.

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