10 Jul 2019
Capacity-building to enable older persons to live well and age confidently must start at home. Singapore aspires to be a Nation for all Ages, where everyone, including older persons, can live well and age confidently in place. The government helps every Singaporean achieve their fullest potential by providing equal opportunities for continuous growth and learning.
Today, about 1 in 4 of Singapore’s workforce is aged 55 and above and almost half of Singapore’s population is expected to be at least 65 years old by 2050. Recently, a report by the Ministry of Health, Singapore in collaboration with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation also found that Singaporeans have the highest life expectancy in the world at 84.8 years. The government believes that rather than a “silver tsunami”, we can translate this longevity into longer years of active engagement and productive participation in society.
To ensure that older persons can fully participate in all spheres of life, the government launched a $3 billion Action Plan for Successful Ageing in 2015 that covers 70 initiatives over 12 areas including healthcare and aged care, employment, and protection for vulnerable seniors. One of these initiatives is the National Silver Academy (NSA) which enables older persons to pursue lifelong learning through subsidised courses in diverse fields such as health, financial adequacy, digital literacy etc. The government also has several schemes to help companies create more age-friendly workplaces, such as the Job Redesign Grant that assists businesses to create easier, safer and smarter jobs for older workers and to reskill older workers so they can make use of innovative solutions to enable them to continue working, should they so choose.
Singapore is also actively contributing towards capacity building beyond our borders through the Singapore Cooperation Programme which has trained over 125,000 participants from more than 170 developing countries since 1992. We offer a targeted course on “Strategies to Promote Active Ageing” that looks at policy innovation and strategies to tackle challenges in enabling the elderly to lead active and fulfilling lives, including by leveraging technology. We also offer more generic courses on Health Policy, Primary Healthcare and Community Health Services through which we share our good practices and help build capacity among developing countries to better manage their primary and community health systems as well as provide quality healthcare services, in particular for vulnerable groups such as women, children and the elderly.
Thank you Mr President.
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