Do more to prevent despair in the elderly

We need to work harder to prevent elderly people from feeling so distressed that they take their own lives ("More seniors in S'pore taking own lives"; Dec 17).

More financial aid should be made available to seniors who are in need of financial assistance.

To overcome the issue of loneliness, more programmes can be designed to bring together seniors so they may interact with one another or with younger people.

These programmes should be widely publicised and facilities should be provided to enable seniors to participate in them.

Transport facilities should be affordable for all.

More areas in housing estates for seniors to interact with one another should be created.

The Government should maintain a database of seniors.

Social workers and nurses should be recruited to regularly visit seniors who live on their own.

Case records must be kept and the mental health of seniors should be monitored.

To prepare people for living longer, happier lives, they should be encouraged to read and use computers to access information and communicate with others.

Seniors should be exposed to new skills and creative pursuits. Job opportunities, too, should be made available to seniors.

Courses in self-esteem, positive thinking and happiness should be organised for seniors.

Retirement villages that are professionally organised and managed by qualified staff should be provided for seniors. Staff could design a range of activities for the residents.

The physical and mental health of the residents should be constantly checked.

To make it affordable, the Government could provide subsidies.

A change in attitude towards seniors is very necessary.

Young people should treat seniors with respect.

A campaign to eliminate ageism should be launched. The media should provide more positive images of seniors.

We want a more caring and loving society. The Government has succeeded very well in the past with the development of young people.

I am confident that it can implement good policies and programmes for seniors to be happy and content with life.

Zaibun Siraj (Ms)