Invest in elderly Singaporeans: Chen Show Mao
SINGAPORE — The Government should invest more in elderly Singaporeans as the country’s population continues to age, said Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC, Mr Chen Show Mao.
Speaking in Parliament today (May 30), Mr Chen said Singapore can reap economic benefits if investments are made to redesign jobs, work places, processes and culture for older workers. This would help Singapore fully draw on the experiences and know-how of older workers, despite a slowdown in their physical bodies.
It would also enable them to be as productive as or even more productive than their younger counterparts, he added.
Mr Chen called for more investment to help elderly Singaporeans age in place. Calling them a “repository of social and cultural capital”, he said this would tap their long-standing ties to the community.
Investing in elderly Singaporeans will reward the society with economic, social and cultural contributions, which would be possible with the assistance of Singaporeans, he noted.
“It would also allow us to be inclusive, which is the basis of community and social cohesion,” the Workers’ Party MP said.
Employing them or encouraging them to volunteer in schools to teach subjects such as social studies and national education are just some ways of doing so, he added.
To help the elderly age in place, Mr Chen also suggested providing more support for informal caregivers. These would include friends or family of the elderly person.
“It’s well-documented that caregivers often suffer declines in their own financial circumstances, and their mental physical health as a result of their care giving role,” Mr Chen said.
Support could take the form of leave for informal caregivers, flexible work arrangements or Central Provident Fund top-ups, he suggested.
Mr Chen noted that there are plans for a national conversation over the next few months, in preparation of a National Action Plan for Successful Ageing, and he was heartened that elderly Singaporeans would be a part of this. CHANNEL NEWSASIA