As Singapore grapples with an ageing population, there is a shift towards preventive care, encouraging seniors to actively manage their health with the help of technology. However, many seniors face challenges in adopting digital tools, highlighting the need for support and simplified user experiences.
The Struggles of Embracing Technology
Seniors like 76-year-old Pauline Tong express frustration with the complexity of mobile applications. The overwhelming array of programmes and complicated steps can deter them from embracing technology for health management. To address this, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has provided basic digital skills training to over 190,000 seniors, focusing on enhancing digital literacy at active ageing centres.
Engaging Seniors through Simplified Usage
Volunteers at activity centres play a vital role in encouraging seniors to embrace technology. By integrating digital devices into activities like cooking classes or virtual sessions, seniors can practice and apply their digital skills in a supportive environment. However, reaching isolated seniors who live alone remains a challenge, highlighting the importance of ground-up efforts and volunteer outreach.
Language Barrier and Guided Support
Language barriers further hinder seniors’ adoption of health apps, as highlighted by Madam Ho Seh Moh. Initiatives that offer language options, like Mandarin, can greatly facilitate seniors’ interaction with healthcare services. Volunteer programmes such as the Silver Generation Ambassadors, appointed by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), play a crucial role in guiding seniors through digital tools, policies, and initiatives. Collaborations with organisations like Youth Corps Singapore aim to recruit more volunteers to engage and empower seniors.
Supporting Caregivers in Navigating Digital Healthcare
Caregivers play a pivotal role in helping their elderly loved ones navigate the digitalisation of healthcare. They can seek assistance from social organisations like SG Assist, which offers resources and workshops to support both caregivers and seniors. By equipping themselves with knowledge and understanding the struggles seniors face, caregivers can bridge the digital divide and ensure their loved ones receive the benefits of technology-enabled healthcare.
Embracing a Digital Future for Better Senior Health
As Singapore’s population rapidly ages, it is crucial to empower seniors with technology for effective health management. By providing simplified user experiences, language options, and guided support, we can bridge the gap and ensure that seniors feel confident and capable of embracing digital tools. Together, let’s create a society where technology is accessible to all, enabling our seniors to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.
At SG Assist and CareConnect, we believe that every act of kindness counts. Whether you’re a caregiver in need of support or a volunteer looking to make a difference, we’re here for you. Visit SG Assist and CareConnect’s website to learn more about our services, download the SG Assist app or sign up as a volunteer for our Caregiver Resource Centre, and together, let’s create a community of care and support. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter here for updates on how you can help.
Story was adapted from Channel News Asia, Rapidly ageing Singapore urges seniors to use tech in managing their health.