Letter of the week: Repurpose Old Changi Hospital by setting up wellness village for seniors

The facade of Old Changi Hospital on April 14, 2021.
The facade of Old Changi Hospital on April 14, 2021.PHOTO: ST FILE

The Singapore Land Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority have called on the public to propose a plan to repurpose Old Changi Hospital and I have a proposal to put forth here (Giving Changi Point, Old Changi Hospital a new lease of life, April 16).

Issues concerning the welfare and health needs of elderly Singaporeans need to be tackled urgently. Singapore has yet to establish a retirement village and a recuperation centre to provide comprehensive and affordable geriatric services.

A project of such scale will require the involvement of the Government to consolidate the needed resources and services.

In my proposal, this integrated elderly village can be divided into six centres, namely:

• Retirement centre

This village provides affordable and safe accommodation, meals, recreation, enrichment programmes and medical services for the elderly.

Medical personnel and equipment will be available, along with emergency alarms and closed-circuit television to monitor the medical needs of the elderly.

• Medical and rehabilitation centre

This is a treatment and rehabilitation centre for short- or long-term patients, or those with severe chronic diseases, cancer patients or the elderly who need daily kidney dialysis.

• Health and wellness centre

This centre provides health consultations and helps seniors upkeep their health and wellness, including their mental well-being.

Facilities could also include nursing services, consultations by nutritionists or having chefs teach residents how to cook healthily.

• Elderly retraining centre

This centre provides training courses for residents and guests. The village can teach health-related courses, first-aid lessons and nursing.

• Hospice centre

This can guide the elderly on palliative care and how to communicate their last wishes.

Terminally ill patients can stay in this village, where end-of-life specialists can provide round-the-clock services, including assisting in funeral rites.

• Recreation and leisure centre

This centre, which integrates the six centres, lets the elderly gather and socialise in a safe environment.

Finally, the integrated elderly village's primary objective is for the welfare and care of the elderly, and hence should not be profit-driven.

If the elderly are happy there, the younger generation can also plan their retirement in such integrated facilities.

Ling Weng Kee