Talks on advance care planning for seniors

Retired tailor Lee Tiang Chu drew up her will in her 60s and, now aged 74, admits that she is "not scared to die".

"Everything is fated," she said. "I wanted to get my end-of-life affairs sorted so that I will not burden my children with these decisions and avoid complications in the future."

Ms Lee's views were echoed by 122 of 194 seniors who expressed interest in learning about arranging end-of-life affairs in a survey carried out by the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC).

As a result, its Fulfilling Ageing Programme will hold three talks in Mandarin this year on advance care planning, the first of which will take place on May 26 at its Tanjong Katong headquarters. It will cover issues like speaking to family members about how they would like their health and affairs to be managed.

Last year, 2,760 seniors attended activities under the programme, including three information-sharing sessions which focused on the CPF scheme and related issues.

Programme chairman, Marsiling-Yew Tee MP Alex Yam, said that although a lot of seniors have set money aside for funeral expenses, some may not be well prepared. He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a CDAC and Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations' lunch reception for 520 seniors from six voluntary welfare organisations at HarbourFront Centre yesterday. He said: "Culturally, we don't talk so much about that (end-of-life issues). But I think the elders are acknowledging it a bit more and are prepared to discuss it. We want to play our small part in ensuring the elders have fewer things to worry about."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2018, with the headline 'Talks on advance care planning for seniors'. Print Edition | Subscribe