New research facility to address social challenges

SINGAPORE - A dedicated research facility to examine complex social issues and design innovative ideas for an ageing population was opened on Monday.

The Next Age Institute, jointly set up by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Washington University in the United States, will address the challenges and opportunities presented by social trends.

By 2030, one in five Singaporeans will be above the age of 65.

The institute's research will involve different disciplines, including social work, economics, law, medicine, engineering and architecture.

Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Dr Amy Khor, who was guest of honour at the launch, said: "This is timely as Singapore's population will age more rapidly in the next one to two decades.

"While science and technology has added more life years, the challenge for us is to innovate new ways to translate these additional years in lifespan to healthy and productive years of life. If we fail, then then the challenges of an ageing society will deepen and we will not be able to capitalise on the opportunities that it can present."

The institute, which will be based at the NUS, will commence a pilot study on the transition of care for older people from acute to post-acute care services later this year. It will work with Singapore General, Changi General and Tan Tock Seng hospitals.