Archive - March, 2013

End-of-life care & the challenges

Ageless Voice interviewed Dr Ng Wai Chong, medical director for Hua Mei Centre for Successful Ageing (an initiative of the Tsao Foundation) on the end-of-life care programme by Hua Mei Mobile Clinic, which was piloted in 2009:


Can you tell me more about the three-year programme on palliative care piloted by Tsao Foundation’s Hua Mei Mobile Clinic? What year did it start and what were its goals?

This programme was partly funded by Tote Board Community Healthcare Fund, administered by the Ministry of Health and Agency for Integrated Care. It spanned three years from October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2012.

The first year was the phase whereby the Clinic developed its clinicians in palliative care expertise through internal training and external understudy and clinical attachment. The Clinic also codified its operations to better cater to the needs of those elders who are near the end-of-life care capacity. The programme was actually in operation only in the second and the third year.

The ultimate goal of the Hua Mei Mobile Clinic system of care is to instill a sense of comfort and peace in old age, whereby the older persons served by the Clinic enjoy optimal health, sense of security and dignity while living in their own homes surrounded by loved ones and other natural supports, like neighbours and friends. When the time comes, the older persons and the Clinic as a care-partner, may endeavour a good death, which usually means dying at home, without having to lose the sense of comfort and peace while doing so.

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The secret to living a long life

Longevity is common in Okinawa, Japan, as the people there are less prone to disease. Furthermore, Japan has the highest concentration of centenarians. See this infographic:




















































Sixty is the new 40 for retiring baby boomers in the UK


The UK is witnessing the march of a new type of retiree as the first post-war ‘baby boomers’ pass the old Default Retirement Age of 65. According to Aviva’s latest Real Retirement Report, more than one in three (39 percent) over-55s are continuing to receive a wage and nearly half are intent on using their extra earnings to travel more when they finish full-time work.

Data from the latest census in 2011 showed there were 754,800 people aged 64 in England and Wales, and almost 6.5 million people are turning 65 over the next decade compared with 5.2 million in the previous decade. The spike is due to the post-war birth rate soaring when the armed forces returned from the Second World War, with the newborn generation dubbed the ‘baby boomers’.


Working hard to increase their wealth

Allied with improved healthcare, more people are remaining active as they approach retirement age, and the latest Aviva report shows how they are pushing back the boundaries at work and in their leisure time. One in four (23 percent) 65- to 74-year-olds were still wage earners in December 2012, compared with 18 percent when the report first launched almost three years ago in February 2010.

With 55 percent of 55- to 64-year-olds doing the same, compared with 41 percent in February 2010, this trend looks set to continue as more baby boomers pass the age of 65. It has already fuelled the rise of income and savings among over-55s during the last three years. The typical over-55 now has an income of £1,444 (US$2,151.69) each month along with £14,544 (US$21,671.88) in savings (December 2012), compared with a monthly income of £1,239 (US$1,846.22) and savings of £11,590 (US$17,270.15) in February 2010.

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