This programme allows seniors to learn IT skills and encourage them to volunteer by imparting these skills to other seniors. As such, it promotes seniors staying connected and ageing in place.
Learn My Dialect
The programme enables the seniors to remain connected with the society, build a social network with their peers and interact with the young to enhance intergeneration bonding.
The programme engages senior volunteers to provide basic training in dialects, such as Hokkien and Cantonese, to individuals who interact with seniors on a daily basis. This helps to reduce language barriers. They could be students, frontline healthcare providers and practitioners as well as social workers. Senior volunteer teachers will teach 4 classes per dialect. In each class, topics such as basic everyday knowledge to holding simple conversations are taught.
Life Point is a programme by Society of Sheng Hong Welfare Services. The programme strives to promote a positive outlook towards death and dying. It aims to affirm the value of life and the inevitability of death, and encourage seniors to live a full and meaningful life with no regrets. The objectives are:
To promote public awareness on issues surrounding death and bereavement;
To encourage and support the seniors and their family members to prepare for the inevitability of death and bereavement;
To provide support and resources to those who are frail, vulnerable, or lacking family support, and help them make informed decisions on matters relating to the end stage of life.
Mentally Disadvantage Outreach Programme (MDOP)
Started in 2001, the MDOP was started in partnership with the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). The senior volunteers support persons with mental health issues and help ease them back into the society through light physical exercises, puzzle solving and expressive arts. Volunteers also visit IMH wards to befriend the patients there. The programme also serves PMHIs at Hougang Care Centre and Bethesda Care Centre FAME Club.
The Empowering Seniors Project (FY18 onwards) seeks to increase service user participation in the design and implementation of services for seniors to create more effective and sustainable services. With the insights from NCSS Quality of Life of Seniors
study, seniors have the ability to make decisions in the delivery of services and contribute in various service settings. Hence, seniors should be seen as active participants and contributors instead of passive recipients of services.
An Empowering Seniors workgroup, comprising of eight organisations1 was formed in 2018.
The workgroup is co-chaired by National Council of Social Service and Agency for Integrated Care. Together with the workgroup, NCSS developed the following resources for any eldercare agencies that wish to adopt empowering principles to increase the
level of user participation in the delivery of senior services.
The resource kit is compiled for agencies that would like to implement empowering principles using the Ladder of User Participation. The Ladder helps agencies to concretise the abstract concept of empowerment into doable actions. Case studies of
empowerment initiatives by workgroup members are included for inspiration.
Empowering Seniors Video
Explaining the why and how empowering principles are practised in the various initiatives and services through
the case studies of few eldercare agencies. Click here for
1The Empowering Seniors Workgroup comprises of AMKFSC Community Services Ltd, Alzheimer’s Disease Association, Filos Community services, Jamiyah Nursing Home, RSVP Singapore, Sree Narayana Mission
(Singapore), Tsao Foundation and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (a member of National University Health System).
The Empowering Seniors Project (FY15-FY17) focused on development of evidence-based engagement framework
to enhance purposeful engagements between practitioners/volunteers and seniors. The Project was a collaboration among 15 social service organisations2 to drive senior empowerment in the sector. NCSS initiated the partnership of
the social service organisations with 3 collaborators - National Arts Council,
Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and
National Heritage Board -
to develop three toolkits:- Seniors Life Review through Arts, the Strong Again! Companion Guide and Conversation Starter Kit. The toolkits aim to guide practitioners in their service delivery so that seniors can be empowered to discover their
strength, create purpose for their lives and gain a strong sense of belonging to their community. The toolkits were launched at the Seniors Empowered! Conference on 3 November 2017. Here is a summary of the toolkits and their outcomes:
Senior Life Review through Arts
Encompasses group work activities and takes seniors through personal art journeys and meaningful conversations, to enable seniors to gain confidence to share their life stories, hopes and dreams. Collaborator: National Arts Council
Strong Again! Companion Guide
Encompasses structured home-based activities, targets frail and home-bound seniors, with the aim to help
them gain strength and mobility, and aspire to re-integrate into their community. Collaborator: Ng Teng
Fong General Hospital
These toolkits are designed for use by social service practitioners.
Conversation Starter Kit for Seniors
Catered for staff or volunteers to engage with seniors purposefully, through meaningful conversations
and recollections of their memories and past experiences. Collaborator: National Heritage Board Join us in this journey of senior empowerment!
NCSS is deeply grateful to the late Dr Robert CK Loh and his friends who have made this project possible through their generous donations.
2AWWA Ltd, AMKFSC Community Services Ltd, Care Corner Seniors Services Ltd, Empower Ageing Limited, Fei Yue Community Services, Filos Community Services, Lions Befrienders (LB), NTUC Health Co-operative Ltd, O’Joy Care Services, ProAge Pte Ltd, SAGE Counselling Centre, Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities Limited, TOUCH Community Services, TSAO Foundation, and Yong-En Care Centre
The WiSHINE Programme supports senior widows to cope with the emotional pain due to the loss of their husbands, renew their hope, and equip them so that they can rise above the challenges of widowhood to lead productive and purposeful lives.
The programme targets senior widows aged 50 years and above, who are assessed to have difficulty in coping with grief and have weak emotional support network. The programme supports these widows through the delivery of 3 core services, namely:
Provides day-time supervision and care to frail seniors when their family members are at work or if they require some time off from their caregiving roles. The programmes conducted by the centres include exercises that enhance one's physical well-being as well as social and recreational activities such as doing handicraft work, and singing (karaoke).
These programmes support seniors to stay active and offer opportunities for them to socialise with others and be engaged in meaningful activities. Meals are provided and transport can be arranged to ferry seniors to and fro the centre.
Senior Activity Centres
Senior Activity Centres (SACs) are drop-in centres for vulnerable seniors staying in one- and two-room HDB rental flats within a service boundary. The centres are a hub for social and recreational programmes for seniors to drop by during the day. SACs also befriend and monitor frail and/or provide support services such as the monitoring of frail and/or homebound elderly, and provide information and referrals.
Home Personal Care supports the frail and home-bound Persons Needing Care through personal hygiene care, housekeeping, laundry, mind-stimulating activities, monitoring of medication compliance, and assistance with other personal care services.
Meals and Escort
Provides meals delivery and medical escort services to seniors who are living in the community.
Residential facilities catering to the needs of ambulant seniors, who do not have family support or are unable to live with family members for certain reasons.
These Homes are located within HDB neighbourhoods and seniors are supported to maintain their independent living skills within the Home and the community. Social-recreational activities are organised for the seniors.
Family members and caregivers of persons with dementia are often concerned about their safety and well-being. With effect from 15 April 2021, caregivers of persons with dementia can sign up for CARA Membership to access an ecosystem of personalised dementia support and benefits, including Safe Return. NCSS will be ceasing the Safe Return Card (SRC) with the launch of CARA to avoid duplication.
The annual Senior Give Thanks! Campaign - in conjunction with International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) has garnered participation from more than 50 organisations since it was first launched in Singapore in 2014. In 2017, NCSS supported RSVP Singapore to organise a celebratory event on 1st Oct for the social service sector.
IDOP highlights the importance of the society coming together to build a loving and supportive community that embraces our seniors.
We have prepared these additional reading materials to support your needs:
International Day of Older Persons Digital Training
All seniors can lead their lives with dignity and remain integrated within the community. Platforms are available to reach out to at-risk seniors, enhance skills and social support for caregivers, and improve participation and security options through innovations to ensure our seniors age-in-place.