Elder Housing: Can Singapore Try For Something More Than Homage To Aging Frailty?

A closeup of 2 older women with oriental features watching a television that is not in picture
Waiting for the Son to Come photo by Fechi Fajardo is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Two Singapore elders wait at a day centre for their children to collect them. The shared home is where most families prefer to care for their seniors. But not all seniors have children.

Singapore is a world-famous success at creating high quality, affordable public housing for all, not just the poor. Its principal focus from the beginning has centred around families, given the importance of that institution and to the mix of cultures that reside in this city-state.

But times change, and social habits along with them. Over recent decades, as more Singaporeans delayed marriage or simply preferred single life, Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) began to build housing that as well provided affordable housing for singles.

Time has passed, and many of those older Singaporeans who have opted for a single life have no children to care for them in old age — the citizenry’s traditionally preferred means of elder care.

In response, the HDB, with cooperating partners, is experimenting with affordable social housing for seniors that is framed to support, not only that which elders are incapable of doing (characterized by the health and safety focus of nursing homes), but also to provide supports for all they can still accomplish in life.

Peh Kim Choo is Chief Executive Officer of the Tsao Foundation. It’s mission is ” …to advance a positive transformation of the ageing experience.”

Peh Choo describes the development of a new Singaporean elder’s housing project and its aspirations to provide “game-changing” support for seniors.1 She also considers some of the hurdles that such a project faces. Read more in CNA: Commentary: An elderly public housing project is a game-changer but mindsets still need shifting


  1. Try: What’s Hot And What’s Not In Seniors’ Housing? Ask The Public Housing World Pros

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