Singapore

Innovative aids for the elderly on show at Marina Bay Sands

Two-day forum on ageing innovation showcasing new products, solutions

New and innovative technologies to aid the elderly are being adopted by medical institutions and nursing homes here.

One is a device that serves as both umbrella and walking stick and has built-in functions such as an MP3 music player and alarm sensor.

Called the Bond stick, it was among 50 products from countries being showcased at the 9th International Ageing Asia Innovation Forum, which attracted hospital and healthcare professionals and product innovators.

The two-day forum at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre ends today.

The product showcase is open to the public. Entry is $50 but free for those over 50.

Many products were being launched for the first time outside of their country of origin.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said at the event: "Rethinking aged care and supporting our aged population is not a task that can be accomplished overnight.

"To succeed in these efforts, the public, private and people sectors will have to work in partnership to re-imagine new possibilities and solutions."

The Bond stick looks more like an umbrella and helps people who might be resistant to a walking cane, said Mr Tan Lee Tuan, director of local start-up Bekind Solutions, which devised the product.

A sensor sets off a alarm if the user falls holding the stick.

The built-in MP3 player and radio help reduce the rate of dementia deterioration.

While officially launched at the forum, it is available at $73.80 in public hospitals.

Other innovations on show at the forum include the Japanese-designed Doki Doki Snake Extermination game, which is used to strengthen the leg muscles and improve reaction times.

Similar to a whack-a-mole arcade game, snakes pop up from the machine and users push them back with their feet.

There are plans to use it in five nursing homes and eldercare centres here. It may make its way to the Salvation Army next month.

SmarTable is another form of rehab through fun. It has six games that help to improve memory, accuracy in hand movement and response times of people with cognitive impairment.

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