Lions Befrienders' new customised tablet could serve as a senior's best friend

Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Eric Chua (right) with a senior and the i-Boleh tablet on April 14, 2022. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY
Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Eric Chua (centre) interacts with a senior during a home visit April 14, 2022. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - He has three radio sets at home.

But ever since Mr Wee Sang Son, 81, received his customised tablet two months ago, he hardly uses them.

He now listens to the radio on the tablet.

The i-Boleh tablet - social service agency Lions Befrienders' latest initiative - acts as a companion for seniors, especially those who live alone.

It sends health alerts to remind seniors to take their medication, exercise sufficiently and eat healthily, and also entertains them by screening videos of their choice and broadcasting radio programmes.

It is fully customised according to their needs and preferences.

Funded by Temasek Foundation's Oscar@sg fund, Lions Befrienders will be distributing 150 sets of i-Boleh tablets to high-risk seniors living in rental flats.

The agency is also looking to extend the initiative to more seniors in need.

Newer versions of the i-Boleh programme are also under way.

i-Boleh is the updated version of the i-ok @ LB tablet launched last year.

With the i-ok @ LB tablet, the seniors press a button to signal that they are fine - once between 8am and 9am, and again between 3pm and 4pm.

For those who fail to press the button, Lions Befrienders staff will message or video-call them via their tablets to ensure their safety.

Speaking to The Straits Times about the new updates in i-Boleh during its launch on Thursday (April 14), Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Eric Chua, who oversaw the efforts by Lions Befrienders, said the new version will move from a monitoring standpoint to one of promoting of holistic wellness.

Besides allowing seniors to self-account to Lions Befrienders' staff, the tablet also offers educational games that help improve seniors' cognitive skills and reduce the risk of dementia.

Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Eric Chua distributes i-Boleh Tablets to seniors at LB Mei Ling Active Ageing Centre on April 14, 2022. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Additionally, activities organised by Lions Befrienders Active Ageing Centres will be available for booking on the tablet.

Seniors who are not mobile may also choose to attend the sessions online via the tablet.

There will also be podcasts and videos of religious materials that seniors can tap to cater to their spiritual needs.

In her address to the elderly beneficiaries during Thursday’s event, Lions Befrienders executive director Karen Wee said: "We don't believe in a force fit. Unlike store products where after buying you cannot change it any more, this tablet is constantly being developed according to your needs and feedback.

"What you dream of, what you wish for, what you like, tell us. This is for you."

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