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Pioneer generation ambassadors to help seniors age well

Charissa Yong on 23 Jul 2017

The Straits Times


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SINGAPORE - Volunteers who visit seniors at home to tell them about the Pioneer Generation Package will soon do more to help Singapore's elders live healthily.


The 3,000 pioneer generation ambassadors, as the volunteers are called, will take seniors to health screenings, encourage them to exercise with other seniors, and link them with other friends in their neighborhood.


Their new duties are an extension of the Community Network for Seniors programme to help elders age well in their homes.


The pilot scheme by the Health Ministry and Pioneer Generation Office began last year, and over 300 pioneer generation ambassadors in Tampines GRC, Marine Parade GRC and Choa Chu Kang GRC took part.


In Tampines alone, the volunteers took 200 seniors for the first health screening of their life.


In total, 800 seniors in these three constituencies were helped, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday (July 23).


He announced the extension at a lunch to thank about 100 volunteers from Ang Mo Kio GRC, where he is an MP, and Sengkang West.


"You not only closed the last mile, but continued to go the extra mile for the old people because you cared for them," he said.


Since the pioneer generation ambassador programme began in 2014, the volunteers have reached 70 per cent of the roughly 490,000 seniors in Singapore, he said.


As the scheme expanded, volunteers have gone beyond explaining the details of the Pioneer Generation Package, which subsidises healthcare bills of pioneers.


They now also explain other support schemes for the elderly, such as the MediShield Life insurance programme and Enhancement for Active Seniors programme, which subsidises the retrofitting of elderly-friendly facilities in homes.


The volunteers also reach out to seniors who are not pioneers.


The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.


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