Each edition, we showcase a key challenge of ageing and explore some of possible solutions
As we get older, the stress of relocation can be amplified, making it a difficult and troublesome experience. This week, CNA Insider at Channel News Asia in Singapore broadcasted a documentary that is two years in the making about the relocation of elderly residents from an old housing community.
Madam Wong Ying, now 93 years old, has been a resident of Tanglin Halt for almost 50 years. She lives in a public housing three-room unit, with an active social life, regular routines and familiar networks within the neighbourhood.
When you are in your 60s, 70s, 80s, moving to a new government allocated house due to urban renewal efforts, a new house, new senior activity centre, modern amenities and new amenities means differently, compared to a younger person. When urban renewal is a necessity due to old buildings, how can we assist the elders better?
Although the new housing estate 6km away, 4 bus stops, and 15 minutes by car and 30 minutes by public transport, sounds relatively close, it could mean a lot more to an older person. From a naturally occurring retirement community with friendships, neighbourly support, hairdresser, elderly day centre, coffee shops, what happens in the minds of seniors and the questions they have when face with the thoughts of a move to a new community?
The relocation of seniors from older neighborhoods will continue with urban renewal efforts as Singapore strives to improve the public housing infrastructure, and more. The documentary highlights many of the relocation challenges that we will continue learning from, and build upon the knowledge and experiences to do keep doing better, with more interagency and community collaborations and ground up approaches to make Singapore a better place for current and future generations of seniors. Together, we can improve the relocation and resettlement process.