As we all know, Singapore has an aging population. This is a serious issue that requires serious, long-term solutions, such as building of facilities and housing for the elderly.

But the recent protests by residents against such facilities give an impression that, maybe, not everyone is on the same page in this regard.

The excuses… I mean, reasons, given for not wanting such facilities and housing in their neighbourhood have a definite whiff of self-entitlement to them. Perhaps it’s the ridiculous amounts that we pay for our houses that imbue residents with such imaginings?

One group of residents cite a potential loss of property value for not wanting an elderly care centre built in their block of flats. It’s almost as if being able to sell one’s home for a massive profit is the only thing that matters, long-term plans for the elderly be damned!

Reasons for not wanting a block of elderly-focused studio apartments in the neighbourhood also run in a similar vein. Loss of recreational facilities and open park space that would have to make way for the apartment block prompted residents to petition against the construction. Their solution? Move it to another nearby open area, causing the residents there to also petitioned against it. And their reason? They paid a premium for an unblocked view that would be ruined by the new construction.

Eventually, HDB stuck to their guns and construction will go ahead on the original site. To their credit, they have incorporated extra fitness and garden facilities in the plans for the new studio apartment block.

But these incidents have highlighted a sense of self-entitlement that was once the domain of upper-class elitist snobs. Escalating property prices and the never-ending chase for bigger and better houses seem to have fueled this delusion, even in the public housing sector.

The reality is that, in a nation of 6 million-plus people and counting, expectations of wide open spaces and pristine, unblocked views are very much misplaced, especially in public housing. In land-scarce Singapore, not even the exorbidant private property market can guarantee you such things anymore.


  One Response to “Is the Singapore Housing Dream Marginalising the Elderly?”


    My first real job was a certified nurse’s aansstist in a nursing home. As I moved on thru life for the next 6 years thereafter I worked in several other nursing homes and similar facilities. I adored working as a CNA because the work suited me and I loved the elderly. You indicated you’d like to hear what other folk’s thoughts are on the workers. Unfortunately, even though I worked in 2 different states and many different facilites, my opinion of my coworkers and the jobs I have seen them perform is that about most care more or less about the elderly they work for but 50% or more of my coworkers have been hardened by the uncaringness of folks around them and their work is lacking greatly. I had some caring folks train me and it taught me to work hard. But because the staff is very much a cliche overworked, underpayed, underappreciated by people at the top there are SO many ways to get away with doing a poor job. Staff may appear to be supervised but we are very much doing our work behind the scenes in order to enable privacy for our patients. Patients may or may not know that they are being mistreated, and if the do, they may likely feel like keeping mum about poor treatment do to an employee’s retaliation behind the scenes, etc etc. After working as a nurse’s aid, and also seeing my memere placed in a facility (against my wishes) which went exactly as I guessed it would, I would never ever place my loved ones or my in-laws in a facility. The care they receive there is so variable from day to day. The facility could be beautiful, bright, cheery and have great food, but if an aid puts dirty clothing on you, doesn’t do a good job helping you wash up, skips a pad change, doesn’t bother clipping nails until they smell just endless amounts of details that could make someone uncomfortable to downright sick, details that are so easily passed over by busy workers then the facility is no good in my opinion. I have no suggestions on how to figure out if an employee is a good one or not. I just feel that it is so unlikely that I could count on good care for my loved one, day after day, that I personally will never place a family member in a nursing home, center, etc.

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