Many ongoing studies to help Govt in policy decisions

Elderly people in Toa Payoh Central.
Elderly people in Toa Payoh Central. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

As principal investigator of the study quoted by Mr Kwan Jin Yao, I would like to point out some inaccuracies in his letter (Address financial inadequacy among the elderly, May 15).

The Centre for Ageing Research and Education located at the Duke-NUS Medical School conducted this study in 2016/2017.

We found that 79 per cent of persons aged over 60 years of age reported having either enough money with some left over (29.5 per cent) or just enough money without difficulty (49.3 per cent) in meeting monthly household expenses.

The proportion of this group of people reporting some difficulty was 14.6 per cent, while the proportion of them reporting much difficulty was 3.8 per cent.

Thus, 18.4 per cent of this group of Singaporeans, and not 70.5 per cent, as quoted by the writer, have inadequate income to meet monthly household expenses.

The writer is correct in identifying important future research areas.

We are studying social networks and how they influence psychological well-being over time.

There are ongoing research studies on consumption and expenditure patterns and how they change over time.

Interested members of the public can find a report of our findings on health, work and retirement, social networks and psychological well-being on our website www.duke-nus.edu.sg/care.

The website also contains reports regarding issues raised in the Forum comments.

We will continue to release reports on work, retirement, social networks, volunteerism, and their relationship to the physical and mental health of older Singaporeans.

As an academic entity, we present the facts as they are so that the Government can make evidence-based policy decisions.

Angelique Chan (Associate Professor)

Executive Director

Centre for Ageing Research and Education

Duke-NUS Medical School

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2019, with the headline 'Many ongoing studies to help Govt in policy decisions'. Print Edition | Subscribe