Preparing for ageing is everyone's responsibility

Many seniors participate actively in healthy lifestyle programmes.
Many seniors participate actively in healthy lifestyle programmes.PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Mr Wee Sin Chuan for his letter (How much impact has action plan for seniors had?, Feb 18). The Ministry of Health (MOH) agrees that beyond hardware, it is important to empower and motivate seniors to take charge of their own health.

This is why the Action Plan for Successful Ageing includes initiatives to promote health and wellness, as well as learning and volunteerism, to motivate seniors to keep healthy and connected to the community, and delay the onset of frailty.

Mr Wee asked about the effectiveness of the Action Plan. Under the National Seniors' Health Programme, we have reached out to over 550,000 seniors in the community through health talks and exercise programmes.

We have also extended preventive health programmes to workplaces, and reached over 60,000 mature workers in key sectors, ranging from retail to transport.

Today, many seniors participate actively in our healthy lifestyle programmes. For instance, around one in five participants in our latest National Steps Challenge season is 60 years old or above.

Seniors also take up a wide range of courses offered by the National Silver Academy, and contribute as volunteers in various areas. About one in four Silver Generation Ambassadors is a senior, and they continue to encourage fellow seniors to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and participate in active ageing programmes as part of their outreach.

Preparing for ageing as a society is the shared responsibility of individuals, families, community and the Government.

MOH will continue to work with partner agencies and the community to enhance our programming for seniors, and encourage more Singaporeans to partner us to make Singapore a Nation for All Ages.

Lim Siok Peng (Ms)

Director, Corporate Communications

Ministry of Health

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2019, with the headline 'Preparing for ageing is everyone's responsibility'. Print Edition | Subscribe