The Australian population is ageing and if the government is going to support us, they need to start getting the infrastructure in place to do so. A very interesting public initiative in Singapore has decided to support the senior population and is currently trialling a program to consider implementing it country-wide.
The scheme gives seniors a card (similar to a transport card) that can activate additional timings at street crossings. All the person needs to do is swipe their card as they press the button and the lights will automatically add between three and 13 additional seconds for them to cross the road.
The program has extended to cover nearly 200 intersections in areas with particularly high older demographics. This is one of the ways it is helping the country to better cater for older people.
Should Australia be adopting this system and many more to cater for ageing populations?
Something else Singapore does is look after its “pioneer” members of society – those who have remained in Singapore since it was founded in 1965. These people have additional medical subsidies, easy access to health facilities and discounted premiums on the compulsory health insurance. The health resources for younger people are all there, however more funding goes towards prevention of diseases such as obesity and diabetes so they have less instances of these preventable diseases.
Singapore also has a mindset about older people in the workforce that we have not adopted. According to a report conducted by the Singaporean Government, most employers see older people in the workforce as valuable assets saying, “less older people in the workforce mean we lose valuable skills and knowledge”. So have Singapore got the right approach to catering for an ageing population?
While they financially aren’t as advanced as Australia with only a recent introduction of compulsory pension saving, they have an approach that benefits older people and highlights them as positive people in society.
Should Australia be investing more resources into setting up infrastructure to support an ageing population? Would you like to see the intersection additions and others introduced to support us? Have your say in the comments below…