Since the 1980s Singapore authorities has started to recognize that the population is acquiring older. Statisticss have shown that by 2030 the aged in Singapore will treble to about 900,000. The steps taken by the authorities includes making elder-friendly installations and comfortss in every lodging estate. Recently, the authorities has besides looked into the employability of the aged who wish to go on working.
Housing and Development Board ( HDB ) , Ministry of Manpower ( MOM ) and Ministry of Social and Family Development ( MSF ) are the authorities bureaus which have direct impact on every older individual in Singapore. Aged bend to HDB, MOM and MSF for their lodging, work and public assistance issues severally. These authorities bureaus are viewed as the faces of the authorities.
Housing policies have been tuned to the publicity of societal integrating of our seniors by non segregating them from the remainder of the population so that they could ‘age in topographic point ‘ . HDB has put in attempts to make barrier-free handiness in the reinforced environment to promote mobility of the aged. A scope of health care and eldercare programmes and services have been rolled out to back up caregiving and let aged to be engaged in the society. The authorities besides recognised the desirableness of employment and employability of the aged for their fiscal security.
Although lodging policies and programmes are in topographic point to look into the countries like easing the common attention and support by the households of the older occupants, we feel a sense that the authorities is taking for a strong accent on the person and household autonomy. Harmonizing to the HDB, the assorted strategies rolled out by them are meant to assist the aged to ‘age in topographic point ‘ and to let them to hold intergeneration adhering with their households. One of the steps taken by the HDB is by raising the higher-income ceiling for drawn-out households to purchase subsidised HDB flats to advance intergeneration bonding. However, many of such applications have turned out to be simply investing for the younger household members and there is no statistics to demo that how many elderly have benefited from this strategy. This is particularly true when the recent launching of the Executive Condominiums ( EC ) bing 1000000s of dollars by the private developers.
HDB besides launched the Married Child Priority Scheme and Higher-tier CPF Housing Grant to promote married kids to remain with or near their parents. On paper, this strategy would profit the aged as their kids are nearby so that whenever they need aid, their kids would be at that place for them. However, this has in fact benefited the younger coevals as they could acquire a grant of up to $ 30,000 if they opted to populate nearer to their aged parents. The purpose by the HDB is good but the younger coevals will believe otherwise. They will take advantage of the pecuniary addition and subsequently do a net income from the sale and travel someplace else. Ultimately, non many of the kids would be populating near their parents when they are truly in demand of their aid. We are besides non certain how the intergenerational relationship of these households even though they are still populating nearby. Another similar strategy is the Higher-tier Singles Grant which is given to promote singles to populate with their parents. There is no statistics to demo that whether the aged are still remaining with their individual kid after they have collected the flats.
HDB has implemented the Monetisation options to enable aged to unlock place equity for retirement income. For those with alternate topographic point to remain e.g. with kids, other relations or with another belongings, they may take to sell their flats to recognize the full lodging equity for retirement demands. Another option will be to sublease their flats under HDB ‘s Approved Subletting Scheme. HDB besides encourages the aged to downgrade by selling their bing flats and purchasing a smaller 1. HDB has resumed constructing 3-room and 2-room flats in 2004 and 2006, severally. This is to promote the higher proportion of aged families purchasing little flats than that for larger flats. Aged are besides encouraged to travel to Studio Apartment ( SA ) which are located nearer to comfortss such as market, nutrient Centres and the easy handiness of public conveyance. In add-on, the HDB has besides rolled out the Lease Buyback Scheme in 2009 to assist the aged aged 62 and above life in 2 or 3-room flats to monetise their level value whereby they could have monthly income and go on to populate in same level, community and environment. However, all these strategies merely help those who have their flats and who have adequate hard currency to purchase the SA but non those who do non have any belongings or those who are disadvantaged. They are left to fend for themselves and hold to seek aid from assorted public assistance administrations.
Harmonizing to the HDB study, they have been turn overing out the Undertaking LIFE ( Lift Improvement & A ; Facilities Enhancement for Elderly ) since 1998 to heighten the mobility of the aged. This undertaking has been rolled out in phases and the mark completion of the whole undertaking will be in 2014. The strategy has taken such a long clip to finish has made us inquire what went incorrect with the executing of the undertaking. It has been reported that the HDB has been dragging its pess in the implementing of the strategy to assorted estates based on their petition and demands. HDB has besides politicized this strategy by non offering the life upgrading to certain wards because they are under different political party or their Town Councils ( TC ) have non made any formal petition. If any aged happened to be populating in a ward run by a different political party or the TC has non made any formal petition, so they would hold to go on walking up their stepss as their precedence would be last.
Recently, HDB has besides looked into the betterment of the life environment for less comfortable aged in rental flats. It has been reported that lifts have been modified to halt on every floor, where possible. Non-slip floor tiles, support manus saloon in lavatory, alarm dismay system, etc. are installed in all rental flats. In fact, all these fixtures were eventually put up after legion ailments by the aged life in those flats and the public assistance administrations looking after that country have voiced their concern of the safety of the aged life in those rental flats. Several public assistance orgainisations have reported that before the upgrading the aged life in those rental flats were less nomadic and needed more aid and were frequently neglected.
With all these strategies in topographic point, HDB has projected to the state as a caring authorities section for the aged. HDB needs to recognize that there are loopholes in their old strategies and non many elderly have benefited from those strategies. They are traveling to rectify their old errors by establishing another strategy under the Integrated Studio Apartments ( ISA ) which comes with elderly-friendly characteristics and infinites provided for societal and community installations. These ISA are being integrated with larger HDB flats for better occupant mix of immature and old and to ease more societal interaction. Children can purchase larger level types in same block to populate near parents. Since this is a reasonably new strategy, we have yet to see the result of the undertaking.
HDB and the TC are in the procedure of doing public lodging environment barrier-free. Ramps and linkways to ease wheelchair entree are being planned and built. All these installations were projected to be completed by 2011. However, non all the lodging estates benefited from this environment barrier-free undertaking. Again the HDB was seen to politicise this undertaking by offering to certain estates where the Members of Parliament ( MP ) have made the petition. HDB and TC have non been seen as merely giving lip service and non pre-emptive plenty to supply senior friendly installations to the estates. Many lodging estates are still waiting thirstily for the undertakings to make their door stairss. HDB and TC are still dragging their pess in the execution of this undertaking even though we are already in 2013.
Although HDB and the TC have been stressing that they will go on to measure and modify the lodging landscape in expectancy of demographic alterations and lifestyle demands, they have non done good in this country. They need to seek for new lodging signifiers to provide to the aged in the close hereafter and demand to work closely with other bureaus and administrations to supply community-based attention and support services to the aged.
On the employment forepart, in 2011 Budget, Ministry of Manpower ( MOM ) seems to hold done a great occupation by turn overing out the Particular Employment Credit ( SEC ) to make a hard currency inducement for employers to use older workers. This SEC will enable the employers to have reimbursement of hard currency for the employment of aged if they wish to use any older worker. Under the SEC commissariats, the employer would have six-monthly reimbursements numbering 8 % of each of the older worker ‘s part to the Central Provident Fund ( CPF ) over the twelvemonth. Hence, the employer would merely hold to pay the other half of the parts. The SEC is to promote the employment of the older low-wage workers. This is to complement other steps to hike the employment rate of older workers. The SEC strategy was enhanced in Singapore ‘s 2012 Budget to enable an even bigger pool of older workers to measure up. However, this strategy merely benefited a little pool of aged who are still fit to work. Those who are frail would non acquire anything from this strategy.
The authorities current system is still stressing on the minimum province outgo and in promoting of a strong work moral principle. However, the authorities does non recognize that there would be societal costs like many disadvantaged aged slipping through the spreads. It appears that the system fails to supply an equal safety cyberspace for the aged who are hapless and entirely, the aged unemployed, the handicapped aged and many unsupported older people. Sad to state, our authorities will merely supply the basic societal aid philanthropically, but non an entitlement footing. This is true to our Public Assistance Scheme which is limited via rigorous standards to merely those ‘deserving ‘ individuals or households populating in acute poorness who are unable to work due to old age, unwellness or disablement and have no household member able to help.
Our quickly ageing population and holding a big proportion of disadvantaged aged has created a vacuity in our wellness attention and other societal outgo. Although the authorities has assured that the aged will acquire immense subsidy for their medical attention, most of the aged prefer to remain off from the infirmaries in order non to burthen their kids with the high medical cost. Although the authorities late announced a $ 20 million addition in passing on specialist professional societal workers to supply more effectual aid to needy elderly, there are non many takers who are willing to function in the societal service or public assistance administrations where they could acquire better work environment and wages in other sectors.
Overall the authorities has done a just spot to assist the aged. But we feel that the authorities is still fearful to dunk deeper into their pockets to supply more aid for the aged fearing that more would look to the authorities for aid. Hence, the authorities is merely giving lip service in several countries and still keep their base on single and household autonomy no affair how disadvantaged you are. The authorities will go on to maintain their custodies off on any province public assistance on the aged. It has been a pattern since and the authorities will non alter their accent on the communal duty for back uping the aged who are disadvantaged and entirely.
It would look that although our authorities has recognized grounds of increasing adversity amongst the aged, they are still loath to dunk into their pockets for a public assistance safety cyberspace.