With life expectancy increasing across populations, there is a greater need for policies and programmes which reduce the burden of disability in old age. In Singapore, various sectors work together to ensure an enabling environment to create an active ageing experience for older adults.
“Senior-friendly” environments allow older persons to live as part of the family and community, maximizing their participation in society. According to the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), our physical environment must be senior-friendly – providing safe, unobstructed access for seniors to the community – so as to allow Singapore to achieve “Ageing-in-Place”.
For older persons with mobility challenges, their main barrier would be contemplating the ease of going about outdoors.
Schemes such as HDB’s Project LIFE (Lift Improvement and Facilities Enhancement) would help such seniors in creating a senior-friendly environment. Non-slip floor tiles and support grab bars are installed in toilets along with lever taps and an alarm system. Lifts are upgraded to stop at every level. All these enhancements contribute to enabling elderly independence.
These are just some examples of how our environments can be modified to cater to the elderly and disabled by making them more accessible and safe. Such environments complement our recommendation to use mobility aids and we look forward to more barrier-free work and community spaces in Singapore.
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- Tags: Active Ageing, Ageing Population Trends and Issues, Elder-Friendly Homes, Eldercare Products, Grab Bars