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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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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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A greying Asia

I picked up the January issue of “Global Health and Travel” which had a story on the greying Asia, and public and private sector healthcare solutions for a growing elderly population.

Here’s a summary on what I read:

With the incidence of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer quadrupled in Southeast Asia from 1997-2005, this has translated into a booming demand for healthcare services and prompting expansion of healthcare and healthcare IT solutions.

IT healthcare initiatives

For instance, Singapore is increasing its bed capacity with more acute care and community hospitals and Hong Kong is looking to address the overcrowding of its medical facilities. With all this, there is also a trend towards home-based care, particularly in Singapore, as a way to reduce the strain on hospitals and doctors, and reduce taxpayer burden. And telehealth initiatives are being rolled out where patients can be monitored remotely.

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Singaporeans shun nursing positions

There were more job openings for nearly all occupational groups, according to the “Job Vacancies, 2014″ report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), most notably in several areas including in nursing. As at September last year, the number of vacancies for registered nurse (660) and enrolled/assistant nurse (590) that were unfilled for at least six months were the highest among the PMET (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) jobs. And, according to a newspaper article, these two jobs also had the highest incidences of vacancies among PMET jobs that employers reported were hard to fill by Singaporeans.

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