A 10-year study on dementia and depression is being carried out to gauge if loneliness or living alone increases the risks of such mental health problems among the elderly.
The first such study in Asia, it will also seek to find ways to protect the brain from such diseases.
On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is also MP for Jurong GRC, received a $1.8 million donation from Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho temple alongside the National University of Singapore, which will be conducting the study.
The initiative is called the Jurong Ageing Study as it will rope in elderly participants living in Jurong.
As part of the study, 108 elderly residents living in Jurong and Bukit Merah took part in a 10-week programme aimed at finding out if activities such as tai chi and art therapy could bring down anxiety levels and depressive symptoms.