Assisted living facility for seniors opens as part of ageing-in-place pilot in Kebun Baru, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper
Singapore

Assisted living facility for seniors opens as part of ageing-in-place pilot in Kebun Baru

A new assisted living facility in Kebun Baru aims to help seniors, including those with dementia, age in place in their community, as part of a pilot programme.

The Integrated Dementia (Home-based) Assisted Living or IDeAL@115 project was opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mr Kwek Hian Chuan Henry, adviser to Kebun Baru Grassroots Organisations, on Saturday (March 5).

The project, a partnership between Kebun Baru Grassroots Organisations and social service agency Dementia Singapore, occupies four units in a block of rental flats.

Located on the second level of Block 115 in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, it seeks to help vulnerable and frail seniors through coordinated support and monitoring.

The programme, which is free, now caters to 40 residents of the block.

The IDeAL@115 space features an administrative office, a telehealth room, an activity room and a kitchen, and is run by a team of full-time staff, as well as part-time staff and volunteers.

It uses remote monitoring technology with tracking and fall detection devices so that seniors can live with dignity and autonomy within a familiar, safe and secure environment.

There is a telehealth room, built in collaboration with Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where residents can have teleconsultations with general practitioners, polyclinics, counsellors, occupational therapists and other service providers.

In the activity room, small-group cognitive activities are conducted according to the seniors' interests, with iPad games, board games, reminiscence therapy and gardening.

The kitchen provides a daily lunch of either a fully cooked meal, or raw ingredients for a meal, to households in the block that are deemed to be lacking in nutrition.

Seniors who are physically capable are encouraged to collect their meals personally so that they can get some physical activity, as well as interact with fellow residents and staff.

There is a shared laundry area for seniors who need help with washing and hanging of their laundry.

One of the residents in the block, Mr Tan Kim Chiaw, 79, said the programme had helped him a lot.

"My lunch is covered by the central kitchen and I am really appreciative of that because it helps me save some money. I am thankful for IDeAL as it has helped me and my community," said Mr Tan.

A survey conducted by the Housing Board in February last year showed that more elderly residents in Singapore prefer to age in place.

"The IDeAL@115 pilot aims to maximise the seniors' potential to live in the community, age in place and lead independent lives for as long as possible with person-centred care support, delaying the time that the seniors will need to be placed in a long-term care facility," said Dementia Singapore.

There are plans to expand the pilot to more seniors in Ang Mo Kio.

"We hope that IDeAL@115 will serve as a model of care that can be replicated in neighbourhoods across Singapore to empower the growing silver population to age comfortably in place," said Dementia Singapore chief executive Jason Foo.

PM Lee toured the IDeAL@115 facilities and interacted with residents.

He also distributed soup to them, and put the finishing touches on a mural in the void deck of Block 115.

ELDERCAREDementiaLee Hsien Loongsenior citizens