Discover Active Ageing Programmes for Singapore’s Ageing Population

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

Published on

Given Singapore’s increasingly ageing population, it becomes increasingly important to understand and implement effective programmes for active ageing. Active ageing is recommended to optimise health, participation, and security opportunities to enhance the quality of life as people age.

In this article, we will explore the concept of active ageing, the four pillars of active ageing as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), and how Singapore promotes active ageing through various programmes and initiatives.

Understanding the Concept of Active Ageing

Active ageing goes beyond simply staying physically active. It encompasses a holistic approach to ageing that encompasses physical, mental, and social well-being. It recognizes that older adults have the potential to continue contributing to society and lead fulfilling lives. Active ageing encourages individuals to remain engaged, maintain their independence, and live life to the fullest.

The Four Pillars of Active Ageing by WHO

The World Health Organization has identified four pillars of active ageing. These pillars serve as a framework for promoting active and successful ageing and ensuring that older adults have the necessary support and opportunities for healthy and active living.

  • Health: This pillar focuses on promoting physical and mental well-being among older adults. It includes access to healthcare services, regular health screenings, vaccination programmes, and initiatives to prevent and manage chronic conditions.
  • Participation: Participation refers to the engagement of older adults in social, economic, cultural, and civic activities. It aims to foster social inclusion and prevent social isolation, which can have detrimental effects on health and well-being. Participation can be through volunteering, lifelong learning, employment opportunities, and community involvement.
  • Security: Older adults should feel safe and secure in their environment. This pillar addresses issues such as financial security, housing options, social protection, and access to essential services. Creating an age-friendly environment that supports the needs and preferences of older adults is crucial for their well-being.
  • Lifelong Learning: Lifelong learning is essential for continued personal development and active ageing. This pillar emphasizes the importance of acquiring new skills, knowledge, and competencies. It includes access to educational opportunities, training programmes, and the promotion of digital literacy among older adults.

How Does Singapore Promote Active Ageing?

Singapore recognizes the importance of active ageing and has implemented various programmes and initiatives to support its ageing population. These programmes aim to promote physical and mental well-being, encourage social participation, and provide learning and personal development opportunities. Let’s explore some of these initiatives:

Active Ageing Programmes for Seniors

AIC Wellness Programs

The AIC Wellness Programme in Singapore is designed to engage seniors and improve their overall well-being and quality of life. This program offers various resources and activities for seniors living in their own homes or Community Care facilities.

There are also activity booklets available in English and Chinese with fun arts-based activities for seniors to enjoy at home. These resources include activity toolkits such as “Heartful Conversations” and “Colours in Everyday Life” that aim to strengthen bonds and engage seniors through creative art-making and valuable conversations.

There are also toolkits specifically designed for seniors with higher care needs, providing activity ideas and adaptations for wheelchair players. The program also offers a supplementary guide to help Community Care staff and volunteers plan effective group activities for seniors.

National Seniors’ Health Programme

The Ministry of Health in Singapore introduced the National Seniors’ Health Programme in 2015 to promote active ageing among older adults. This programme aims to educate seniors about health issues, encourage healthy living habits, and provide preventive health services.

It includes various initiatives such as mobile health services, functional screening programs, and active ageing programmes. These initiatives are designed to improve the quality of life and promote healthy ageing for older adults. These outcomes are achieved by encouraging seniors to make healthier lifestyle choices by bringing health services to their communities and promoting social engagement.

Some activities offered under the program include group exercise sessions, healthy cooking classes, health workshops, and social activities. Similarly, the Live Well, Age Well programme jointly offered by the Health Promotion Board and People’s Association also features a wide range of exciting activities for seniors.

National Silver Academy (NSA) Courses

The National Silver Academy (NSA) in Singapore offers a wide range of courses for seniors aged 50 and above. Seniors can attend modules from existing full-qualification programs at post-secondary education institutions and voluntary welfare organizations.

These modules cover various subjects such as Chinese history, social-emotional learning, film criticism, and intellectual property law. The courses are presented on different days and times, and limited seats are available. Seniors can attend these courses alongside regular students but are not required to sit for exams. Singapore Citizens who are 50 years and above are eligible to participate in the courses.

Seniors Go Digital

Seniors Go Digital is a program initiated by the Singaporean government aimed at strengthening digital literacy and accessibility among the senior population. The programme is driven by the InfoComm Media Development Authority and aims to support seniors, particularly the silver and pioneer generation, in their digital journeys.

Be A Silver Generation Ambassador

Being a Silver Generation Ambassador in Singapore means being part of a dedicated team supporting fellow seniors’ ageing needs. These ambassadors, recruited by the Silver Generation Office (SGO), play a vital role in promoting active ageing and connecting older adults with relevant services and resources. They provide guidance, support, and encouragement to their peers, fostering a sense of community and social inclusion.

The ambassadors are passionate about connecting with seniors and helping them apply for assistance when needed. They have a heart to serve, possess empathetic listening skills, and are willing to learn. Basic English and computer literacy skills are also required for the role. The position is open to Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents.

SkillsFuture Credit

SkillsFuture Credit is a government initiative that provides funding for Singaporeans to pursue lifelong learning. It’s an initiative that encourages individuals to take ownership of their skills development and lifelong learning.

For individuals aged 40 to 60, there is an additional one-time credit of $500 provided on top of the one-time top-up of $500 given to Singapore citizens aged 25 and above. The SkillsFuture Credit can be used for a wide range of approved skills-related courses, including online courses and those offered by various institutions and agencies.

Health Screening

Regular health screenings are essential for early detection and prevention of diseases. Singapore promotes health screening through various initiatives. Let’s explore two of them:

Screen For Life (SFL)

Screen for Life is a national screening program in Singapore aimed at promoting regular screenings and follow-ups to prevent or delay the onset of diseases like diabetes. It offers subsidized screenings to eligible Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs). Eligible individuals can receive further subsidized screening and one post-screening consultation at a low, fixed fee at CHAS GP clinics.

Project Silver Screen

Project Silver Screen Singapore is a nationwide programme initiated by the Ministry of Health and Temasek Foundation Cares to provide functional screening for Singaporeans aged 60 and above. The main objective of this program is to help seniors see, hear, and eat better by detecting age-related decline in vision, hearing, and oral health through painless tests. The screenings offer timely intervention and enable seniors to maintain their overall health.


Singapore recognises the crucial role of vaccination in disease prevention and thus encourages older adults to get vaccinated through various campaigns and programmes. It helps strengthen the immune system and helps protect older adults from infectious diseases.

Benefits of Active Ageing

Active ageing brings a multitude of benefits to individuals, communities, and society as a whole. Let’s explore some of the benefits that active ageing brings to help seniors age gracefully:

  • Physical well-being: Active ageing promotes physical health and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and preventive healthcare contribute to overall well-being.
  • Mental well-being: Engaging in social and intellectual activities helps maintain cognitive function and reduces the risk of cognitive decline. Active ageing enhances mental well-being and reduces the risk of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
  • Social inclusion: Active ageing fosters social connections and prevents social isolation. By participating in community activities and engaging with peers, older adults feel a sense of belonging and purpose.
  • Economic contribution: Older adults who remain active and engaged can continue contributing their skills and expertise to the workforce. Active ageing promotes intergenerational learning and knowledge transfer.
  • Age-friendly communities: Active ageing initiatives contribute to the creation of age-friendly communities. These communities provide the necessary support and infrastructure to enable older adults to live independently and participate fully in society.

Active Ageing Hubs in Singapore

Singapore has established Active Ageing Hubs to provide a central location for older Singapore citizens to access various services and activities. These hubs offer a wide range of programmes, including health screenings, exercise classes, educational courses, and social activities. They serve as community spaces where older adults can connect, learn, and engage with others.

Some examples of active ageing hubs in Singapore are as follows:

NTUC Health Active Ageing Hub

The NTUC Health Active Ageing Hub is a comprehensive facility offering a wide range of services designed for seniors. It has been recognized with the Best Active Ageing Programme Award. The hub provides a senior gym where professional guidance is offered for strength training exercises. Additionally, it houses active ageing centres where seniors can engage in social activities and build new friendships. The hub also encourages seniors to volunteer, promoting a spirit of sharing and caring.

Care Corner Active Ageing Hub

Care Corner Active Ageing Hub (AACH), formerly known as Senior Care Centres (SCCs), is an enhanced version of existing eldercare centres in Singapore. It serves as a drop-in social and recreational centre for all seniors aged 60 and above, providing a wide range of ageing services and support. The AACH acts as a go-to point for seniors in the neighbourhood, regardless of their housing type or socioeconomic status. It aims to ensure that every senior who requires support receives the necessary services.

Other Elder-Friendly Environments

Similar to these Active Ageing Hubs, it’s also a good idea to bring your elderly loved ones to environments where they’ll be well-taken care of, can socialise with other older adults, and can live comfortably. Choose reputable service providers like Retire Genie, committed to providing premium quality senior citizen studio apartment and retirement home in Singapore.

Final Words

Understanding and implementing effective active ageing programmes is crucial for Singapore’s ageing population. Through initiatives such as AIC Wellness Programs, the Active Ageing Programme, and the National Silver Academy, Singapore provides a supportive environment for active ageing that can help empower seniors to face ageing more positively. Let’s strive for an age-friendly Singapore where everyone can age actively and gracefully.

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