OCBC and Care Corner Singapore launch programme to address social isolation amongst seniors
More than 1,000 OCBC staff volunteers will engage 3,500 seniors over 12 months with planned social activities
Singapore, 1 November 2023 – To address social isolation among the seniors from low-income families, OCBC has partnered Care Corner Singapore (CCS) to have more than 1,000 OCBC staff volunteers go door- to-door over 12 months to engage these seniors. OCBC and CCS aim to reach out to more than 3,500 seniors above 60 years old, with majority living in 1-, 2- and 3- room public flats across over 70 blocks in Marsiling and Woodlands housing estates. This triples the number of seniors currently supported by CCS in that area. Every month, about 100 OCBC staff volunteers will make house visits to not only check on the well-being of these seniors, but also to encourage them to join the activities organised by OCBC and CCS’ Active Ageing Centres (AAC). Social interaction is critical for mental and physical health, particularly so for seniors living in isolation. The emotional support provided by these social connections fosters a deep sense of community so that seniors will feel more supported. The volunteers will make regular visits to seniors who are resistant to joining, with hopes of persuading them.
The programme called ‘Care Corner ElderConnect supported by OCBC’ was launched by Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State and Member of Parliament for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, today at Care Corner’s AAC in Marsiling with carnival games that promotes cognitive health amongst the seniors. 100 seniors attended the event and was accompanied by 100 OCBC staff volunteers and social workers from Care Corner who guided the seniors through the games.
OCBC extends the support to bring the activities to locations beyond 2 AAC in Marsiling and Woodlands housing estates into at least 8 void decks and neighbourhood pavilions closer to where the seniors live. This seeks to make community programmes more accessible to the seniors, especially for those who face mobility issues or stay relatively further from community nodes like AACs.
Specially curated activities for seniors
This programme will see activities across three categories:
With all these activities, the programme provides a safe and conducive environment for social networking and interactions.
Mr Edward Tang, assistant manager of Care Corner Senior Services said: “It is important to facilitate the integration of seniors into their community so that they experience more support and feel less alone. With an ageing population, there is a need to reach out and engage a larger pool of seniors expediently. We recognise that we cannot do this alone. We are grateful for committed partners like OCBC who have collaborated with us to co-create programmes, and generously dedicated their time and resources to enhance our collective efforts in supporting seniors to age well in the community.”
Ms Jessica Huang, OCBC staff volunteer, shared: “The initial thought that came to my mind was, “If I don’t help them, who will?” This was what motivated me to want to pay it forward and volunteer for the event. Our encouragement and support are crucial to ensure seniors remain actively engaged physically and cognitively. Through this programme, I hope to instil a positive outlook so that these seniors will feel less lonely once they have the support from the community.”