Singles, live with parents

Singles, live with parents

 

HDB dangles $20,000 carrot

 

Thursday • March 6, 2008

 

Lin YAnqin

yanqin@…

 

A NEW initiative has been launched to encourage singles to live with their parents. The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will provide a $20,000 grant if they choose to buy a resale flat to live with their elderly parents.

 

Responding to concerns raised by Members of Parliament over the needs of the elderly, Minister-in-Charge of Ageing Issues Lim Boon Heng explained that the scheme is similar to the current higher-tier CPF Housing Grant given to a first-timer family buying a resale flat, if the family opts to live close to, or in the same flat, as their parents.

 

Currently, singles aged 35 and above are only eligible for an $11,000 housing grant for a resale flat in any location. The HDB will announce details of the new scheme later.

 

The move is one of several new measures to make life better for senior citizens, with day care centres (DCC) being another place where the elderly can enjoy social interaction.

 

A transport subsidy based on means testing for trips to these centres would be introduced in the second half of the year.

 

In addition, the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) will also introduce therapists at the DCCs who will design exercise and other programmes to help the elderly maintain mental agility — slated to begin next year.

 

The MCYS will invest some $3 million to effect these initiatives. Mr Lim also said a Wellness Programme will be piloted at six sites islandwide to support seniors in the community.

 

Each site will reach out to at least 1,000 seniors and provide services such as health screening and promote active ageing. MCYS will be allocating $4 million for the pilot project, he said.

 

Addressing the need to help the elderly with dementia, the Alzheimer’s Disease Association will be issuing a “Safe Return” identity card containing contact information of their next-of-kin in case the elderly are found wandering in public, he said.

 

A new Seniors for Physical Activity Committee, chaired by Minister of State for Health Heng Chee How, will develop a national blueprint to promote and facilitate active ageing.

 

“This way, we can look forward not only to a happy life, but also a healthy and long one,” said Mr Lim.

 

Source: TodayOnline

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