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Take action for our seniors in Singapore

01 Oct 2022 4 min read

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The People’s Action Party (PAP) and its PAP Seniors Group continue to commit to action to strengthen support for our seniors, and to empower them to be active co-creators of Singapore’s future.

Since its beginning, the Party and the PAP Seniors Group has actively championed silver generation causes, advocating for issues that impact our seniors’ quality of life, care, and security. This year, its key focus areas include creating opportunities for our seniors through the strengthening of senior employability, as well as providing assurance to our seniors in the areas of healthcare, social support, and senior housing.

Speaking to 300 Party activists and retired MPs during a commemoration of International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) today, Guest-of-Honour Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong stressed the important role our seniors play in building tomorrow’s Singapore amid a changing world.

“We must adapt to the changing expectations and needs of a new generation of seniors… To make progress, our society’s perception of seniors must change. We must embrace productive longevity and view our seniors as assets. We must find new ways to tap on the wealth of experience and knowledge of our seniors. This cannot be done by Government alone, because we have to change attitudes and mindsets, and all of this requires everyone in Singapore to do their part,” DPM added.

Aligned with the Forward Singapore exercise, PAP Seniors Group has begun mobilising its activists and involving seniors to jointly develop ideas and create Singapore’s future. The intent is to translate these plans into community partnerships and policy changes. Specifically, the PAP Seniors Group is looking to involve our seniors in the following:

On senior employability

To ensure seniors in Singapore continue to have good opportunities for meaningful work towards our economy, PAP Seniors Group has solicited feedback relating to senior employability for an effective multi-generational workforce. To date, close to 1,000 employers, human resource professionals and workers have shared their views and suggestions. Based on these inputs, PAP Seniors Group will call on the Government to reinforce senior employability in Singapore.

Other public outreach sessions on supporting continuous learning and skill relevancy for effective senior employability, updating employment policies and processes, as well as the creation of microjobs for seniors, have been planned in the coming months.

On senior housing

As more seniors today aspire to be self-sufficient, PAP Seniors Group is pushing for change in their built and living environments to be well-equipped for them to take care of themselves. Through focus group discussions on senior housing, PAP Seniors Group hopes to put forth recommendations on how the infrastructure in our neighbourhoods and HDB estates can evolve and modernise to meet the needs of our seniors.

On healthcare and social support

To ensure the continued well-being and healthcare for our seniors, PAP MPs have been speaking in Parliament about the need to ensure that adequate seniors’ healthcare and social support are in place.

In the aspect of palliative care, 120 activists completed a Palliative Care 101 training session earlier this month to learn practical steps they could take to support caregivers, and those suffering from terminal illnesses. Some even stepped up to become palliative care ambassadors in their communities.

More talks and workshops will be organised to encourage our seniors to plan for their future health and personal care, for instance, or to educate younger Singaporeans on how they can benefit from medical advances in longevity health.

Organising Chairperson of the PAPSG 2022 IDOP celebrations and MP for Jurong GRC Xie Yao Quan said, “Our seniors played a part in building the Singapore that we enjoy today, and this is our time to do the same for them, and with them, for our next generation. At the end of the day, the goal of the PAP Seniors Group is to ensure that even as the nation grows and prospers, everyone can benefit. That remains our firm commitment to our seniors, and we will keep on working towards creating a home where every Singaporean, young or old, is supported, cared for and respected.”

A sense of solidarity across generations

At the event, PAPSG also unveiled the outcomes of the Live A Legacy co-authoring storytelling initiative – an intergenerational collaborative effort introduced during IDOP last year to bring together Singapore’s seniors and youths.

Following a public call for participation, 167 of such co-authored stories have been digitised and published online today. From poignant nostalgia to colourful fantasies, these stories are welded by the creativity of the younger Singaporeans while anchoring on the experiences and perspectives of our seniors.

Notable personalities who joined in to pen their stories include World War II veteran and Singapore Airlines pioneer pilot, Captain Ho Weng Toh – the oldest author, at 102 years old; Singapore track icon and former national sprinter C. Kunalan; homegrown jazz stalwart and Cultural Medallion recipient Jeremy Monteiro; as well as retired Members of Parliament Dr Lily Neo, Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon and Mr Hawazi Daipi. The public may access the collection of stories at www.livealegacy.sg.

Refer to DPM Lawrence Wong’s speech.

Refer to Xie Yao Quan’s speech.

Caption for featured image: From L to R: Xie Yao Quan, Edward Chia, C. Kunalan’s wife Chong Yoong Ying, C. Kunalan (featured author), DPM Lawrence Wong, Desmond Lee and Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon. Keegan Tan (featured author) in front row.