The elderly dying alone at home -- and unnoticed until a stench hangs in the air -- is unlikely in a neighbourhood where people know each other well and check on each other to see whether anyone needs help.
Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing said this in Parliament yesterday adding that reading reports of people dying alone in their homes pained him.
Thanks to Project Helping Hands, a motion sensor installed in the home will detect a lack of movement if there is none for a pre-set period of time. An SMS will be sent to alert a caregiver or volunteer.
The project – a tie-up between Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Lions Befrienders Service Association (Singapore) and The New Paper – seeks to install these wireless motion sensors in 1,000 homes of senior citizens living alone.
A vendor will be sourced after which the project will move into the pilot phase, when the sensors will be installed in 50 homes over a three- to six-month period. Some $800,000 -- out of a target of $1 million -- has been raised to date.