(Mr Richard R Magnus [right] sharing his thoughts on aged care in Singapore)
Singapore is going through one of the most rapid phases of ageing — by 2030, about a quarter of Singaporeans will be aged 65 and above. The social sector is presented with both adversities and opportunities for new pathways of philanthropy to emerge with solutions.
Mr Richard R Magnus remarked that there is a gap between the current state of aged care and the endpoint where society wants to be at. Seniors want to live a long and good life — both physically and mentally — and for these needs to be met, the adoption of technological and social innovation is important. Innovations enable organisations to put into place programmes for ageing, such as new models of assisted living, functional screening for seniors (Project Silver Screen) and improving the mobility of seniors through exoskeleton technology (iMOVE programme). In particular, the iMOVE programme is looking at using technology to change the practice of hospitals and also outpatient settings, catering to severely impaired patients. Exoskeleton technology is task-specific - using robot-assisted gait training to teach the patient a gait pattern that he is able to then replicate.
Technological and social innovations do not only deliver care support and services – Mr Tan Kwang Cheak believes it will also transform the way seniors are engaged and empowered in the longer term. However, it is consequential to recognise that technological and social innovations are not standalone solutions in resolving the needs of the community. Equally salient is changing practices entirely across the stakeholder continuum, which Dr Effie Chew pointed out.
State-of-the-art technology and social support programmes can entirely revolutionise the types of care provided to seniors in their silver years, but if practitioners and organisations are resistant to the adoption of these innovations, the full potential of these solutions in solving society’s problems would not be fully realised. Reforms to upstream and downstream practices would have to be effected to aid stakeholders in embracing these innovations.
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About Temasek Trust Conversation
Temasek Trust Conversation is one of Asia’s philanthropic-focused conferences to facilitate dialogue and insightful panel discussions among experienced practitioners and thought-leaders on today’s giving landscape. Organised by Temasek Trust, the Temasek Trust Conversation is a signature event held annually to inspire and enable giving.
About the Speakers
Mr Richard R Magnus is a retired Senior (now termed Chief) District Judge. He is currently the Chairman of Temasek Foundation Cares CLG Limited.
Mr Tan Kwang Cheak is the Chief Executive Officer of the Agency for Integrated Care. He started his career in the Singapore Public Service and spent more than a decade in the Singapore Administrative Service.
Dr Effie Chew is a Senior Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, in the Division of Neurology, National University Hospital.
Mr Julian Koo founded Jaga-Me to alleviate the challenges he saw amongst the elderly persons he volunteered among.