Guidelines for provision of quality services for seniors launched

Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Chairman of Government Parliamentary Committee for Communications and Information and MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC at the Silver Industry Standards eXchange.
Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Chairman of Government Parliamentary Committee for Communications and Information and MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC at the Silver Industry Standards eXchange.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - To promote an age-inclusive society, two initiatives that support the provision of quality services for the elderly were launched on Thursday (March 23).

The first is the Silver Industry Standards Roadmap, which charts the direction of developing and implementing standards over the next three to five years to support the needs of the elderly. The second is a set of guidelines on designing user interfaces of digital devices for older adults, also known as SS 618.

Both are supported by national standards and accreditation body Spring Singapore and the industry-led Singapore Standards Council, which advises Spring Singapore. The initiatives were announced on Thursday by Mr Zaqy Mohamad, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Communications and Information.

The roadmap covers four aspects: how the elderly live, work, play, and in infrastructure development. In work, for instance, the roadmap directs that standards help foster a conducive work environment that can be customised to serve the different needs of older working adults. This can be done through guidelines on office ergonomics, for example, to support the elderly's physical conditions.

Spring Singapore assistant chief executive for quality and excellence Choy Sauw Kook said: "Under the roadmap, Spring and the Singapore Standards Council will work with lead government agencies and industry partners to leverage standards to support industry transformation in the healthcare sector and the development of emerging products and services for older adults."

The second initiative, SS 618, provides guidance on the design of the user interface of digital devices such as laptops and ATMs, and online services.

Dr Calvin Chan, convener of the working group which developed SS 618, pointed out that the use of IT was becoming more pervasive in Singapore, which has a rapidly ageing population.

Dr Chan, who is also director of the office of graduate studies at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, said: "SS 618 is developed against this backdrop with the strategic motivation to ensure that senior citizens in Singapore can remain active and independent as more products and services become digitised."

Mr Zaqy added: "As Singapore progresses towards the vision of a Smart Nation, it is important that we address the "silver" digital divide where our elderly may not be able to access new products and services due to information inaccessibility."