By 2030, 25% of the Singaporean population will be 65 years and above, the dependency ratio is estimated to be 2 adults to 1 older adult. We have more working adults and fewer babies to fuel the balance in the population. Our life expectancy is consistently increasing as a result of positive healthcare and public health initiatives by the people.
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With the growing ageing population, we need to ensure that the healthcare system will be able to cater for the masses as we progress into the future. Sustainable initiatives for older adults to find meaningful work and not tokenistic gestures has to be strategically executed. Enabling older adults who wish to continue to contribute their valuable experiences and knowledge can continue to do so effectively for the benefit of the masses. Such initiatives serve to support working adults as well, when older adults are independent physically, mentally and financially and the country
Such initiatives serve to support both older adults and their children. As working adults, we will always worry about our parents be it physical or mental health or financial independent. Retirement age at 62 sounds like a dream, but for many whom I have cared for, it appears to be a momentary facade meant with a list of ambiguous losses and often ending in unresolved grief. The reality of retirement for many did not seem to match up with the expectations of the events that should happen in the second chapter of their lives.
Many shared that things just did not turn out as they had expected. Children leave home and get married, financial losses are incurred due to retirement. Yes, they usually get a package but long can these packages last. People can critically say that they should save their money and not spend it on holidays or time off and invest it wisely. But after 50 years of working and devoting themselves to family life, a lot of people really just want to take some time off for themselves and that takes money. A decent holiday would take a decent amount of money. For some, a decent surgery was needed or time and money were poured into the care of a chronic health condition. For some, that may even be in the time and money spent on caring for their grandkids. For many of us who are working adults, it’s easy to look to older adults and say that they have the easy life when they retire. It’s really not all that it is cracked up to be in Asia.
Having had this conversation with older adults, many have touched on the need for part-time work that can provide an avenue for meaningful engagement, which can encourage them to keep an upright and active lifestyle. Maintaining their physical and mental health, while remaining connected as contributing citizens that are included in society.
Singapore is one of the many super age countries.