SINGAPORE - The People's Action Party (PAP), long associated with kindergartens across the country, is now setting its sights on a network of senior care centres throughout the island.
The PAP Community Foundation (PCF), the party's charitable arm, will soon launch its first senior care centre in Simei, the first of 10 to 15 such centres it hopes to open in the next five years, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Sunday.
The centres will provide seniors with health and social care services, and help support working family care givers, he added. Mr Lee was speaking at the annual PCF Family Day at Universal Studios Singapore.
The announcement comes as the Government pays closer attention to the needs of an ageing population.
With the number of people here aged 65 and above expected to triple to 900,000 by 2030, eldercare is poised to become an increasingly urgent concern. And just as the PAP set up kindergartens in the 1960s - which later came under PCF in 1986 - to offer good, affordable education, its new senior care centres aim to offer daycare and rehabilitation services for the elderly at affordable rates.
PCF, which runs 350 pre-school centres, has expanded its scope to meet Singapore's evolving needs, said Mr Lee. It offers student care services to help working parents, and is now entering eldercare to ease the strains of an ageing population.
"This is how we can help to build a fair and just society: A society where everyone can have the fullest opportunities to succeed, where each one of us plays a part in serving the community, where we all move ahead together, and build a brighter tomorrow together," he told the audience.
They included members of the PAP Seniors Group (PAP.SG), launched last December to better address the needs of senior citizens and signal the party's commitment to caring for the elderly.
It is helmed by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, and its senior adviser is Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.
PCF executive committee chairman Lawrence Wong said PCF is responding to the shifting demographic in estates here, which has driven a growing demand for eldercare services.
"Hence we've decided that PCF should go beyond its core pre-school services to look at taking care of our elderly, especially those in the more vulnerable groups," said Mr Wong, who is also Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.
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