SINGAPORE - Singapore's first retirement kampung - bringing together public housing for seniors with healthcare, wellness and eldercare facilities - officially opened in Woodlands on Saturday (May 12).
Launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the 11-storey Kampung Admiralty is the first Housing Board project to co-locate childcare and senior centres in one integrated development, aimed at encouraging inter-generational bonding.
"This is a small kampung... modest in scale but bold in ambition. We will make it succeed and when it's successful, we will build more kampungs like this in future HDB estates," said Mr Lee in a speech.
The pilot project was conceived with the ageing population in mind, he added. "We wanted people to lead active and meaningful lives."
HDB has sought to develop new designs for an elderly population, and build flats, common areas and neighbourhoods that promote strong social support and community bonding, he said.
The facilities at Kampung Admiralty are meant to encourage older people to step out of their homes and socialise with their neighbours and friends.
There is a medical centre on the third and fourth floor, a sheltered plaza for community activities like weekly fitness exercises, and a rooftop community farm with more than 30 species of tropical plants such as longan and chiku trees.
The complex, completed late last year after four years of construction, includes two residential blocks of about 100 studio apartments that cater to those aged 55 and above.
These are fitted with elder-friendly features such as grab bars, bigger switches and ramps at the unit entrance. Almost all the apartments have been taken up.
Mr Lee also noted that Kampung Admiralty "is designed to be integrated with the rest of the community".
Built next to Admiralty MRT station, the complex is part of a $3 billion plan to help Singaporeans "age in place".
The Housing Board partnered Yishun Health, the National Environment Agency, National Parks Board, Land Transport Authority, Early Childhood Development Agency and Ministry of Health to plan and develop it.
Retiree Oh Kee Swee, 62, is among those already enjoying the new facilities. He has lived in the area for more than 60 years, first in a kampung and now at a nearby block.
"I've tended to gardens in this area for over 20 years, can spend over half a day doing so," he said. "I was the one who suggested having a rooftop garden. I want this to be a place where people can enter easily, and interact with each other."