Speech by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health, at the official opening of Kwong Wai Shiu Community Care Centre @ McNair, 11 November 2017

Mr Patrick Lee, Chairman of Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital

Dr Leong Heng Keng, Advisor to Board of Directors

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning.

          I am delighted to join you today at the opening ceremony of the Kwong Wai Shiu Community Care Centre at McNair, the First Active Ageing Hub in Singapore. Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate Kwong Wai Shiu on 107 years of stellar community service. 

2       Singapore is ageing rapidly. By 2030, 1 in 4 Singaporeans will be aged 65 and above, and there will be larger numbers of seniors living in our communities. However, the good news is that you are not only living longer, but also healthier. Our vision is to have a population of healthy seniors, ageing happily and purposefully, in their homes within the communities. To that end, we have put in place programmes to encourage seniors to be active and socially engaged, and support to enable them to live as independently as possible.

3       Under our Action Plan for Successful Ageing, launched in 2015, we have planned for Active Ageing Hubs (AAHs) to be built together with new housing developments. These are one-stop-hubs with co-located active ageing and care facilities. Activities such as health talks, health screening and interest groups are available so that our seniors can stay active and be equipped with the necessary skills to stay healthy. For those who may need some help at home, they can tap on services such as delivery of groceries to their doorstep or handyman services to facilitate them to continue to live independently in the community. Seniors can also play a role in organising activities, sharing their knowledge and volunteering to contribute to the centre. If seniors are frailer and need more medical care, they can go back to the centre to tap on day care services, or home care for seniors who are more frail and homebound. By twinning both types of services, we hope to help seniors age healthily, engage them socially and provide care and support they need when they become frail.

4       Kwong Wai Shiu Community Care Centre (KWS CCC) at McNair is the first of the ten AAHs that we will have in new public housing developments by 2020. Even though it has only started operations for three months, the Centre already has 500 members. In line with the objectives of the AAH, the Centre provides a range of health education programmes such as fall preventions, Traditional Chinese Medicine talks, to keep seniors healthy. Interested seniors can also participate in IT classes to stay connected to the community. The Centre also provides over 40 day care places and can serve over 100 homebound clients and provide care and rehabilitation in their homes on a daily basis.    

5       The Community Care Centre is also integrated with Kwong Wai Shiu’s Community Hub with the provision of shuttle service. The integrated hub concept pulls together several streams of services – preventive health, geriatric clinic, day care services, home care services and Kwong Wai Shiu’s upcoming nursing home facility with over 600 beds, to enable seniors with varying needs to be supported. These efforts will greatly benefit the elderly residents within the Kallang-Whampoa vicinity. 

6       I am delighted to hear that seniors are enjoying the activities at the centre. Earlier, Kwong Wai Shiu shared the story of a senior who is receiving care at home. There is also Mr Doraisamy Elangopal, aged 61, who makes time to come down outside of work to help frail seniors at the centre almost every day. I also know of the story of Mdm Sumoi Paramesvari, aged 76, who is so happy with the centre’s activities that she visits up to five times a week! We hope to cater to more seniors like them as we build up more AAHs across Singapore.   This also include the upcoming AAH at Kampung Admiralty.  

7       In closing, I would like to congratulate Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital for the successful opening of this Community Care Centre at McNair. I would also like to thank Kwong Wai Shiu for its firm commitment in partnering us to develop the home and community care sector in Singapore. All the very best to Kwong Wai Shiu on your 107th Anniversary, and may you continue to provide quality and affordable care to our seniors for many years to come! Thank you.

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