Aged care to Singapore

Trends and opportunities

The market

Population ageing is set to be one of the most significant social transformations of the twenty-first century, with implications for nearly all sectors of society, including labour and financial markets, and economic considerations such as demand for goods and services, housing, transportation, and communications, and Singapore is no exception.

In Singapore the proportion of citizens aged 65 years and above increased from 12.4 per cent (or 479,966 in a Singapore resident population of 3.87 million) in 2014 to 14.4 per cent (495,360 in a resident population of 3.44 million) in 2017. By 2030, it is projected to reach 19 per cent (or 1.2 million against a projected resident population of 6.5 million).

The World Health Organisation defines an aged society as one where 14 per cent or more of the population is aged 65 years and above. By this definition, Singapore has already an ageing society,

and by 2020, it is projected that the Singapore population would age faster than populations in Australia, South Korea, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA).

Various strategies have been put in place to address the rapidly ageing profile. These include:

  • making Singapore ‘age-friendly’ so that seniors can move around safely and confidently within their homes and within the community
  • promoting active ageing so that seniors can keep their minds active and bodies healthy and enjoy life to the fullest
  • looking out for seniors who live alone (this is a growing group)
  • integrating aged care services with housing developments.

The Singapore Government has plans to improve aged care services and facilities, particularly in building infrastructure and addressing labour needs. At the same time, the issue of making aged care more affordable, easing the financial burden of long term care, and enhancing quality of aged care, is also being dealt with.

In 2015 the Singapore Ministerial Committee on Ageing unveiled key new features of a $3 billion national plan to help Singaporeans age confidently and lead active lives, with strong bonds with family and community. The national plan - Action Plan for Successful Ageing - will include about 60 initiatives covering 12 areas, namely, health and wellness, learning, volunteerism, employment, housing, transport, public spaces, respect and social inclusion, retirement adequacy, healthcare and aged care, protection for vulnerable seniors and research. (Source: Singapore Ministry of Health ).

The Government also has plans to reform its healthcare insurance policies to focus on increasing affordability, through a reformed Medishield and greater protection for the elderly – with more elderly focused community hospitals in the next 5 – 10 years.

Other measures to keep Singapore a successfully ageing society include investing in ageing-related

research in different disciplines to transform the experience of ageing in a modern world. These include:

  • A national Geriatric Education and Research Institute (GERI) housed on the Yishun Community Hospital to promote geriatric education.
  • The Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Centre for Ageing, Research and Education (CARE) to further research some social aspects of ageing and will complement the largely clinical nature of work done at GERI.
  • The National Research Foundation setting aside up to S$200 million for a National Innovation Challenge on Active and Confident Ageing to catalyse research related to ageing.

Opportunities

Opportunities exist for Australian companies in the following areas:

Infrastucture

  • building of aged care facilities under build-own-lease (BOL) model
  • need for more hospital beds
  • developing housing that incorporates aged care facilities
  • designing retirement housing.

Labour

  • qualified medical personnel
  • upskilling of healthcare workers
  • increase in need for allied health professionals
  • building support network for seniors that live alone.

Consultancy (setting standards/guidelines)

Industry Standards

The Silver Industry Standards Committee (SISC), which is under the purview of the Singapore Standards Council, develops and facilitates the implementation of Singapore standards to support the growth of the market for elder consumers and national initiatives in active ageing.

The objective of the SISC is to support active aging in Singapore in order to enhance the quality of life of the elderly. The SISC also supports initiatives to provide quality of products and services for the elderly, shape the development of an age-friendly built environment and facilitate market access for silver industry products and services within the following parameters:

  • Liveability within homes and community
  • Healthcare and eldercare
  • Nutrition for elderly
  • Technology for elderly

(source: SPRING Singapore )

Links and industry contacts

Aged care-related resources

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Contact details

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