Include eldercare in Greater Southern Waterfront, Pulau Brani plans

Kampung Admiralty which won World Building of the Year 2018 award is an integrated retirement village that combines public housing for seniors, healthcare, childcare and community facilities under one roof.
Kampung Admiralty which won World Building of the Year 2018 award is an integrated retirement village that combines public housing for seniors, healthcare, childcare and community facilities under one roof.PHOTO: DARREN SOH

I was excited by the endless possibilities of how the Greater Southern Waterfront and Pulau Brani can be developed after listening to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally speech.

I addressed the rising trend of an ageing population in Singapore in a previous letter (Consider building retirement villages on S'pore's islands, Aug 7). Given that we are now the country with the longest average life expectancy, the need for holistic eldercare seems more relevant than ever.

Eldercare is multifaceted but mainly progressive - from independent to assisted living to end of life. This kind of care calls for an integrated approach to living and medical facilities, and this is where Singapore can lead the way.

The Greater Southern Waterfront and Pulau Brani can be conceptualised to include this progressive care - be it via retirement villages or otherwise.

Imagine new towns where there are different integrated retirement offerings depending on one's needs and financial situation - it can be a Kampung Admiralty or seafront-facing developments, but the provision of continuous care remains the core differentiation.

The young living in these new towns know that when they age, a holistic retirement offering is available and this will add to the new towns' attractiveness. Their parents may also decide to first purchase and live in such elderly-friendly properties and eventually pass them to their children. This is a complete approach to intergenerational real estate planning as well.

George Ong Yong Tze

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2019, with the headline 'Include eldercare in Greater Southern Waterfront, Pulau Brani plans'. Print Edition | Subscribe