More elder-friendly products on the way

NTUC Health's first nursing home in Jurong West was launched yesterday. The facility offers nursing care to about 200 seniors who use wheelchairs or have dementia. It also houses a care centre for more mobile old folk. FairPrice retail assistant Yue
NTUC Health's first nursing home in Jurong West was launched yesterday. The facility offers nursing care to about 200 seniors who use wheelchairs or have dementia. It also houses a care centre for more mobile old folk. ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
NTUC Health's first nursing home in Jurong West was launched yesterday. The facility offers nursing care to about 200 seniors who use wheelchairs or have dementia. It also houses a care centre for more mobile old folk. FairPrice retail assistant Yue
FairPrice retail assistant Yue Saw Chan, 68, trying out a trolley customised for wheelchair-users at the FairPrice Enabling Village supermarket in Lengkok Bahru. Another such supermarket is in Bukit Merah Central.PHOTO: NTUC FAIRPRICE

Elderly wheelchair-users often rely on family members for grocery shopping, especially if it involves heavy loads.

But now, senior citizens using wheelchairs can push trolleys - customised ones that can be attached to the wheelchairs - to pick up and pay for items in supermarkets if they want to.

Such customised trolleys are among several features that elder- and disabled-friendly NTUC FairPrice supermarkets will have when the chain opens four more of such stores in the west and central parts of Singapore this year.

Two such supermarkets were set up in Bukit Merah Central and Lengkok Bahru last year.

Besides the wheelchair-friendly trolleys, there are call buttons at the supermarket entrance and along the rows of shelves, should help be needed. In addition, magnifying glasses are placed among the shelves so that customers can use them to read product labels. Shelves are fitted at a lower height so that wheelchair-users or seniors can reach for items more easily.

Besides the wheelchair-friendly trolleys, there are call buttons at the supermarket entrance and along the rows of shelves, should help be needed. In addition, magnifying glasses are placed among the shelves so that customers can use them to read product labels. Shelves are fitted at a lower height so that wheelchair-users or seniors can reach for items more easily.

Speaking at the launch of a new nursing home in Jurong, NTUC secretary-general Chan Chun Sing said yesterday that, apart from such elder-friendly facilities, NTUC is also looking into ensuring adequate financial planning and protection for the elderly.

NTUC Income launched the Silver Protect in March, an insurance policy that people between 50 and 74 years old can buy. The policy covers early and advanced-stage cancer, among other things, up to the age of 84.

Mr Chan, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, said such products will give the elderly more affordable insurance options.

A 55-year-old man, for instance, will pay a premium of about $1,000 every year for a sum assured of $100,000.

Currently, Income also offers a personal accident insurance plan, called SilverCare, for older people. However, it said Silver Protect is the only cancer-focused product that accepts policyholders up to the age of 74.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2016, with the headline 'More elder-friendly products on the way'. Print Edition | Subscribe