I found this article very refreshing and thought-provoking in the way it challenged prevailing norms in our perceptions of Singapore’s ageing population.
Many seniors in Singapore, more so in the heartlands of the Housing and Development Board (HDB) than in the bungalow belt, worry about their future. Where will they live in their old age? Can they pay their medical bills? Will their Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings last their lives? Will they die alone and uncared for?
Their worries are quite remarkable because Singaporeans have among the highest per capita incomes and, through the CPF, are among the world’s biggest savers. Singapore has one of the most successful public housing programmes and one of the most effective and cost-efficient health systems. It is also quite remarkable because senior issues have, in fact, received a lot of attention from our Government and there is a lot going for seniors here.
More than 30 years ago, the first study of our ageing population was made — the Howe Yoon Chong Report in 1984, which was followed by two Inter-Ministerial Committee reports, Healthcare of the Elderly and The Ageing Population, in 1997-1998.
In 2003, the Committee on Ageing Issues was established and in 2006, a minister in charge of ageing issues was appointed.
So, what are the reasons for the worries of senior citizens?
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