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21 April 2007

New facility and new service to provide better support towards the ageing population

AN INDEPENDENT LIVING SHOWROOM WITHIN THE NEW FACE OF DAY CARE CENTRE TO HELP TO MAKE YOUR LIVING ENVIRONMENT ELDERLY AND USER FRIENDLY 

NTUC FAIRPRICE’S $2 MILLION PLEDGE MAKES IT THE LARGEST DONOR TO NTUC ELDERCARE

Singapore, 21 April 2007 – The 4th social day care centre, Silver Circle (Jurong Central), located at Blk 402 Jurong West St 42 #01-525 and managed by NTUC ElderCare Co-operative Ltd, was officially opened today by Guest-of-Honour, Mr Lim Boon Heng, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office.

The seniors staying within Jurong GRC will now have another social day care centre to look forward to spend their time when their children are at work. The new centre, built from part of the S$2million donation pledged by NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd, is designed with barrier-free accessibility, home-safety and user-friendly details after taking into consideration to the usage need and patterns of the centre’s clientele.

Some examples include: -

 a. having ramps and no curbs throughout the centre

 b. having spacious areas with minimum barriers (fewer furniture) to restrict or obstruct their movement

 c. sufficient leg space for wheelchair at the serving counter in kitchen, reception counter, dining tables and cabinets in the common areas and many more.

Within this centre, there is an Independent Living Showroom where it exhibits samples of various devices and equipment that can assist in the daily living activities of the seniors and possibly for disabled persons. Seniors and their care-givers can have hands-on experience, greater awareness and be better informed on how to make one’s living environment safer and more user and elderly-friendly.

“With this new feature, NTUC ElderCare hopes to reach out to the seniors and nearby residents to come to visit the showroom so that we can generate greater awareness and enhance their knowledge on the availability and use of such useful items, which improve their lives and their living environment so that it makes a safe place for them”, said Mr Lim Boon Heng, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office.

Mr Lim Boon Heng has also added that “NTUC FairPrice has also kindly provided in-kind sponsorship of their housebrand general household and grocery items to the centre’s kitchen, in addition to its pledge of S$2million donation for the centres’ construction and operation. Without the generous gestures from NTUC FairPrice, this new centre will not be able to materialize so soon. Beside these, NTUC FairPrice will also be offering the service of its consultant nutritionist to design nutritious menus for the elderly.”

On the rationale for supporting this worthy cause, Mr Ng Ser Miang, Chairman of NTUC FairPrice, said: "As a pro-family retailer, FairPrice shares the vision of NTUC ElderCare in caring for the needs of the elderly.  To help ElderCare to continue to provide the elderly with quality but affordable day care services, FairPrice had pledged a donation of $2 million, of which $400,000 is used for the setting up of this 4th Eldercare Centre in Jurong Central.  We are happy to note that the centre is now in operation with all its new features and services in place to serve the residents of Jurong GRC.”

Mr Ng added: “At FairPrice, we have also implemented several initiatives to make our stores more elderly-friendly.  These include having bigger and more prominent signs, wheelchair accessible check-outs and lifts for split-level stores. We also offer senior citizens 2% discount every Tuesday, and bring in products that cater to their special dietary needs, such as those that are low fat, low sugar, or high calcium in content."

To enable the residents of Jurong Central to have barrier-free accessibility to Silver Circle, Jurong Town Council has started its project on Barrier-free precinct within Jurong Central, with the surrounding areas of Blocks 401 to 408 as its pilot work. Improvement works include the construction of a new ramp and footpath leading from the car park to Blk 402 and the levelling of the edges of the drain gratings to provide easier mobility for the elderly and not-so-mobile residents. In addition, a fitness corner will soon be built in front of the centre to provide residents living in the surrounding area a venue for them to carry out simple exercises to keep active and fit.

Mr Lim said, “With these improvements made in the precinct by Jurong Town Council, we hope that more senior residents around this area will come out more often to make use of these facilities and thus, leading a more active social life.”

During the official opening, Mr Lim has also announced a new initiative by NTUC ElderCare, i.e., “care@home”, a non-medical home care service, provided as a pilot service to the residents of Jurong GRC. It brings social care to one’s elderly dependent at the comfort and convenience of one’s own home, especially seniors or elderly who are weak, homebound and require some form of care and support while their children are away at work.

The service is provided by a group of iCARE Officers who are mainly housewives but trained by hospital professionals to provide a wide range of quality care and social activities. These include companionship, conversations, recreational activities, exercises, meals preparation, simple housekeeping and few others.

Each session, either on ad-hoc, short-term or regular monthly basis, may lasts between 2 to 4 hours. Longer hours may also be considered. The service components and provision schedule can be customised to suit the senior’s needs.

“Through this initiative, we hope to bring social care from social day care centres to the door-steps of those seniors who are unable to step out of their houses. At the same time, we hope to encourage and provide more opportunities to house-wives and active seniors to take up part-time flexible working arrangements to earn some additional income for themselves. If the demand for this service is good, NTUC ElderCare will extend the service to more areas,” said Mr Lim.

The daughter of a “care@home” user, Mrs Caroline Mundell, said, “My aged father who suffers from a heart condition, stroke and is bed-ridden, needed home care support urgently as there was no one at home to attend to his personal care besides my aged mother who was restricted in her ability to help him. As I live in Perth, Australia, it was hard to organize services and I was worried for their care. I am now relieved to have “care@home” service that makes my parents’ life more comfortable and happy living at home with dignity. My parents are also pleased with the services provided by the iCARE Officer.”

Thereafter, Mr Lim Boon Heng, together with the guests, toured the newly opened centre in Jurong Central and the Independent Living Showroom

-End-

About NTUC ElderCare Co-operative Ltd

NTUC ElderCare Co-operative Limited was registered in 1997, with the objective of providing affordable and quality care services for the elderly of average dual-income Singaporean families.

It also offers value-add services such as physiotherapy, counselling, loan of home care equipment, basic health checks and provides information & referrals. Besides these, NTUC Eldercare also organizes public education workshops and projects to promote the importance of active and responsible ageing.

NTUC Eldercare currently has three centres, with the new addition, in Singapore: -

1. NTUC ElderCare Centre (Marsiling) tel: 63682591

2. NTUC ElderCare Centre (Taman Jurong) tel: 62683108

3. Silver Circle (Pasir Ris) tel: 65816033

4. Silver Circle (Jurong Central) tel: 6561 4989

For information or enquiries on “care@home” service, please call 62138212 during 9.00am to 6.00pm.

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