Singapore

Getting the elderly and young to play together

One is 65 years old, and in a wheelchair, while the other is only five. But they can sit opposite each other and equally enjoy a merry-go-round ride.

This may sound unusual, but it is part of a new way of life for Madam Veronica Koh and pre-schooler Tay Yukai.

The young and old living and playing alongside each other is part of the new curriculum introduced at St Joseph's Home in Jurong West.

Singapore's first inter-generational playground and infant and childcare centre within a nursing home was officially launched yesterday.

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health, said at the launch: "The home's inter-generational playground is a trailblazer among nursing homes in experimenting with shared spaces for the young and old.

"By leveraging the simple yet universal concept of play, this playground aims to attract more children and young ones to interact with seniors."

She added that the Government is planning for eldercare and childcare facilities to be located together in 10 new HDB housing developments, such as Kampung Admiralty in Woodlands.

The childcare centre and inter-generational playground were added to St Joseph's Home after a 2½ year renovation.

The refurbished home reopened early this year. It can now take up to about 400 elderly residents.

The infantcare and childcare centre is open to up to 56 children aged two months to six years.

Senior CitizenchildcareJurong