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Second Beginnings: Care and Kinship For Singapore’s Seniors

The Lien Foundation and design firm COLOURS’s book containing 10 intriguing ideas to transform under-used spaces in Singapore into thriving communities for seniors is shortlisted for INDE.Awards 2018 in ‘The Influencer’ category. Find out more!

Second Beginnings: Care and Kinship For Singapore’s Seniors

Garden of Life. Proposed site: Tanjong Rhu Promenade.

Singapore’s population of seniors is projected to double by 2030. For a long time, ageing has been considered to be either a private family matter or a national statistical issue. “But there’s been a blank space at the precinct level,” says Dr Chong Keng Hua, co-founder (with Kang Fong Ing) of design consultancy COLOURS: Collectively Ours.

In Dr Chong’s view, there is a need to rethink the way we approach the ageing community. “The baby boomer generation is different than the pioneer generation. And in our future ageing community, they are part of the solution, not the problem,” he says.

Commissioned by the Lien Foundation, COLOURS has devised ten spatial typologies that could help seniors to pursue interests, socialise, exercise and (if required) be cared for within the community. The project has been published in a book titled Second Beginnings: Senior Living Redefined

The typologies were developed using a set of principles called the four Ds: de-institutionalise (bring healthcare services down to the community level), de-localise (break away from a geographically bound system and move toward interest-based social spaces), differentiate (create differentiated care for diverse segments of the senior population) and develop (focus on development and growth).

Wholesome Market. Proposed site: Jurong West St 41 Market.

The ten typologies treat Singapore’s space crunch as an opportunity to spark innovation and to do more with less, rather than as an excuse to maintain the status quo. The ‘Wholesome Market’ for example, is presented as a way to weave geriatric care into daily routines. The proposed site is the Jurong West Street 41 market where care facilities would be co-located with healthy hawker stalls. Rather than wait in line at hospitals for consultations, seniors could linger at the hawker centre with friends. A curved ramp leads to the rooftop to promote ‘stealth exercise’.

Wholesome Market. Proposed site: Jurong West St 41 Market.

Another example is the ‘Garden of Life’, a public park with an inpatient hospice to celebrate lives well-lived. Proposed at the Tanjong Rhu Promenade, this typology proposes the co-location of a nature park, a tree nursery and an inpatient hospice care facility (where family members can also stay).

Garden of Life. Proposed site: Tanjong Rhu Promenade.

It’s both a tranquil place for the terminally ill to live out their last days, and a public space that invites people to celebrate life. The nursery park doubles as an ash garden.

View more images here

The Lien Foundation and COLOURS welcomes private and public institutions that are interested in developing the typologies further.  

Second Beginnings: Senior Living Redefined has been shortlisted in The Influencer category of the INDE.Awards 2018. Will it win? Find out at the INDE.Awards 2018 Gala on 22 June, here in Singapore!

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