Saturday, June 26, 2010

Elderly Challenge - Observation 2

Elderly cannot afford to fall down as it can result in loss of mobility or even life. When elderly lives or is left alone at home, he or she could not get help easily if he or she fell down and need to be sent to hospital for medical treatment. The elderly would be just left there without anyone knowing it. I am wondering if we could have a wristband for the elderly that could allow he or she to press on it on a message will be sent to the police, the neighbors or the guardian to notify them to get there and help him or her. In case the elderly fainted and could not press the wristband, the wristband will make a sound hourly (other than the time the elderly is sleeping), pressing on the wristband will then stop the sound. This is to ensure that when elderly is unconscious, others will still be notified to help.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Elderly Challenge - Observation 1

I realized that the elderly do not go to recreational places, for examples shopping malls, frequently. Mostly only children and adults will visit those places. I conclude that elderly do not frequent those places due to their mobility. Most elderly need their caretakers to accompany them, to provide support when they move around, to provide help to push their wheelchairs. The caretakers have to be free to take them out. I think that the elderly need exercise to ensure that their muscles still function well. Shopping could be a nice exercise for them, not too vigorous. Shopping may also make them feel engaged in the community, a chance to meet more people, make friends. I feel that we, as the family of the elderly, should make a point to bring elderly out, so that elderly do not feel bored or lonely. This will also increase family time. A active elderly will be a healthy elderly.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Elderly Challenge - Observation 4

My granny's anti nausea wristband

Yesterday, my granny came to Singapore to stay with us for a week. Today, we went out to have lunch. As my granny has diabetes, she had to be careful with whatever she eat. She also cannot eat food that are too hard for her dentures, for example fried food and crunchy vegetables. She also cannot eat spicy food. When my mum cook dinner, she had to cook the vegetables longer to soften them for my granny. I am wondering if hawker centers could provide “Elderly Meal”, just like Kids Meal. When my dad drive us around Singapore to show my granny around, my granny has this anti nausea wristband then will prevent her from getting motion sickness, which I thought is quite a nice invention. In the past, before my granny has it, she always have to eat something sour like lemon to prevent herself from vomiting.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Elderly Challenge - Observation 3

During my stay at my grandparents’ house in Malaysia, I observed that both my grandparents move around the house very slowly, need more support to move around. That is also a new handle for my granny to hold on when she walk up and down the stairs. The handle was built for her safety as she had previously fall down the stairs before. She always make sure that the chair is in the right position before she sit down. She also told me that when she wear slippers nowadays when she enter the kitchen and the toilet so that she will not slip and fall due to puddles of water. As she grow weaker, she don’t carry heavy stuff anymore, leaving it to my uncle and aunt who stayed with my grandparents. She also squat down to get things and get up more slowly. She still do light housework like feeding the chickens and brewing coffee as she will feel bored if she has nothing to do. When she was still fit, she could cycle to the streets to buy stuff. However, she can no longer cycle so my uncle will drive her to the streets whenever she need to buy some things.

The handle for my granny.

My granny's slippers.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Holiday work - Part 1: Understanding the ‘The Elderly Challenge’

FOUR key recommendations of the report:
  • Housing for Seniors : There were be different types of housing to meet the different needs of seniors to get them to live as a part of the family and community.
  • Accessibility for Seniors : Improvements should be made to the environment to allow the seniors to move around more easily.
  • Caring for Seniors : Healthcare and Eldercare services should be more affordable, more efficient, have a variety services and accessible to seniors living in the community easily.
  • Opportunities for Seniors : More activities should be organized to encourage the seniors to be more active in the community, allowing them to make friends.
ONE way that the CAI report is recommending to make our public housing more elderly-friendly :

The CAI report is recommending that the government should consider introducing guidelines for the provision of accessibility and safety features in the homes for seniors, through a review of the Code on Barrier-Free Accessibility, to create a more elderly-friendly environment.

TWO ways on how we can ensure that the quality of elderly care here in Singapore is affordable :
  • The government should top up Medisave accounts of less well off Singaporeans where there are budgetary surpluses to ensure that seniors have the means to afford healthcare services.
  • MOH should review the ElderShield scheme, to improve the coverage for elderly Singaporeans who require long term care.
THREE things that you can do, as an SST student, to help overcome these elderly challenges :
  • I could design some equipment to help the seniors to move more easily around their environment. For example, I could design wheelchairs which allow seniors to move up and down then stairs conveniently so that they could have access to places with stairs.
  • I could arrange activities for the senior to make them more active in their social life. For example, I could invite them to our school to share about their experiences so that we can learn from them and they would feel happy that they had contributed to the community in some ways.
  • I could treat seniors around me such as my neighbors and grandparents and help them whenever they need help. For example I could help those who are wheelchair-bound to get around.