Essay on Ageing Population in Singapore: Positive & Negative Impacts
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Aging is a process to become older that occurs with the aggregation of physical, physiological and social changes in the human over time. This is a natural phenomenon that every human is bound to experience.
An aging population occurs when the median age people in the country increased and enters their age of ’60s. Today, in Singapore the aging population becomes the most important issue to think about. It’s become a tough challenge to provide adequate residential and healthcare to elderly people.
This is possible that Due to the inadequate allocation of funds and lack of concern towards the elderly person, they will have to beg around for the basic necessities.
Singapore has the fastest growing economies in the world and has the lowest birth rate and apparently high rate of aging. Almost 10% of its 5 million populations are above 65 years.
The figure will be increased to 25% by 2021. This is such a big problem for the country to worry about. This will affect so many things. A young man would be worried that how he will take care of his elderly parents as well as his family. Women, who are near about getting retirement will be worried about her future.
This is the first duty of any country’s government to resolve such critical issues and fulfill the needs and demands of its citizens. Thus, Singapore’s government has to take a step to resolve this aging issue and formulate a policy to counter this problem.
Before finding the solution to Singapore’s aging problem it is very important to find out the involvement of stakeholders. By studying the effect of aging on stakeholders we can forecast the solution of negative effects of aging.
- Senior Citizen: Senior citizens are the actual group of people who are going to experience the main impact of this issue. The general concern of these groups of stakeholders
- Include: How will the future generation able to support the increasing population of elder people?
Will the government of Singapore introduce any policy or scheme for the well-fare of an elderly person?
Will infrastructure be able to support the older person?
- Working Singaporean: Aging people need care and they demand healthcare and other services every next day. As the taxes have increased and income has decreased that is directly affecting their money spending power so it’s really very hard for them to provide proper care for their parents.
- Singapore Government: With a decreasing rate of the workforce, the fall in the aging population economy is very obvious. The government has a responsibility to introduce a policy to control the situation.
Secondary Stakeholder involves:
- Future Generation: Although, the implication of aging people is affecting the present scenario and the government is also observing the effects on the present scenario. If the proportion of elder person to working Singaporean would increase then the effects would be more severe and Singaporean would have to share the burden of supporting the aging population. Thus, our future generation has to face a worsening situation of an aging population.
- Business: The maximum number of Singaporean population is getting older and apparently the number of working people (young) getting lesser. Business and organization will affect at an extreme level. The number of young and modern skilled workers is getting lower. As a result, the organization has to spend more funds on the training of the latest skills to older persons.
Due to the taxes has increased; the purchasing power of individuals is decreasing it’s also directly affecting the business.
Here we can see that a major section of society is getting affected by the increased number of older people and continuously affecting by this. A major step has to be taken in order to control the situation.
The implication of an aging population:
Singapore has one of the highest proportions of elderly citizens in the world.
Shirking standards of an individual’s health
As one person getting aged, their health decreases eventually and they will demand healthcare.
This will give rise to new industries and businesses involved in healthcare.
It is really important that society should provide services that target the aged people. Moreover, the world health organization stated that all elder people do not need healthcare if an older person gets proper care by the society they can live a healthy life.
Therefore, in the future with such a low birth rate, Singapore may face a problem in attracting foreign talent into the country.
Effects on the Future Generations
As the number of aging people increased, the demand for health care goods and services will increase. Therefore, the pressure on the government will be increased to provide healthcare services. The monetary cost would increase and that will result in increment tax on the society.
Moreover, the birth rate is very low and the dependency rate is high in the country. If the birth rate continues to remain that low, in the future that would increase the rate of dependent individuals. Ultimately, that translates into the heavier burden on working individuals to maintain the economic growth of the country.
The admiration for the elder person
The elder person influences the major part of society in terms of traditions, culture, values. They are those ones who have made our country and help our country to reach a position where it is today.
The hard work they have put in the country is a reason for the success of our country. Therefore, proper care and respect should be given to our elder person. Thus, our government is the primary stakeholder involved in this issue; it has started many government initiatives to solve this aspiring aging population problem.
- Sum up: To handle this problem we should seek to improve elderly living standards and encourage them to contribute to this society. The government should take initiatives to help our older citizens.
- Business: Due to the increased age of the elder person, there is a certain reason that would affect:
Productivity of organization
A profitable organization is the one who is looking to expand productivity never wants to hire an older worker. They always seek to hire young workers because they are youth talent and possess with new technologies and can provide maximum productivity.
Additionally, during the recession period, only older workers were topmost among the retrenchment list so this contradicts here and the fact is that only older workers can remain with experience and wisdom. So despite the fact of cost efficiency, organizations have to hire older persons.
Increased demand for health care and service
Singapore has taken so many initiatives and services to provide better health care to the older person not just in the hospitals and clinics but at homes also.
For example, the Enhancement for Active seniors program implemented by the government introduced a slip-resistant bathroom and grab installed bars within the flats.
- The Governments: The Government is implicating so many policies in the favor of an older person of the society but that can make the negative impact of an aging population on the business and organizations and that would result that those business owners get angry and relocate themselves. If that happens, that will again affect the government and country. Thus, the government should ensure that any policy related to the older person does not affect or upset the emotions of any business.
- Sum up: The aging population affects the whole economy of the country. As an increased number of older people, decrease the number of the workforce with a corresponding increase in the number of dependency ratio that would translate as a drop in the productivity of a business and directly lower down in the economy. In short, if nothing is done, our future generation will find difficulty to support the economy.
The action was taken by the Singapore government:
The government has recognized the increase ratio in older people will make a negative effect on society and ultimately on the economy. The government is conducting many surveys to gauge the physical and mental health of seniors.
- Housing: The government has introduced many schemes to provide adequate housing that cater to the need of an elder person as their mobility, safety, and health.
Some schemes that the government has initiated are Multi-generation flats, Project Life, Granny Flats, Studio Apartments, barrier-free housing environment.
- Transport: Public transport has improved a lot and became elder-friendly
- Encouraging re-employment: To encourage the older people’s employment the government has made many policies, one of them was made in October 2017 the government has implemented the Tripartite workforce to assist companies in the implementation of the re-employment measures. To further encourage the implementation of re-employment schemes for older workers, companies were given financial support of up to $400,000 for policies that were placed in line with the re-employment legislation and also subsidized the re-training program.
To encourage the older employees to continue working, and to change the mindsets to accept older workers, Singapore’s government is putting many efforts.
- Ensuring the financial stability of the older person: To ensure that every older person has sufficient saving the government has implemented a scheme Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) in 2007. (Reference:http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/Members/Gen-Info/Workfare.html)
- Healthcare: The Ministry of Health introduced a Chronic Disease Management Programme which emphasizes a holistic approach in the treatment of diseases. Other than this, in 2007 the Elder Shield Scheme for disabled people that focus on increase affordability of medical services by paying $400 per month for up to 6 years.
In 2002 the concept of active aging was developed by the European Commission to ensure the self-sufficiency of older citizens after their retirement.
- The future: Singapore is the fastest aging country. By the year 2050, the number of citizens aged 65 and above will show multiple increases from today. So what does this mean for our future?
Firstly, our economic growth will slow down. If the statics remains the same the number of young and talented people will be very less and no more MNC’s will remain interested in our country. The lesser the number of working people, the fewer individuals to pay taxes. The government will receive less money the ultimate effect on the economy and growth of our country.
Secondly, the older people in the country, the lessen a number of people in the strength and lesser the defensive system of the country. We will have fewer young people to fill the ranks of the army, and fewer physically fit citizens to defend us. Our future and survival will be threatened.
If immediate short-term and long-term measures are not taken, we will move backward and will reach a rate of growth similar to what we had many decades ago.
- Empowerment of senior citizens to enhancing senior citizens’ value in the organization.
- Continuous active promotion of healthy aging from small communities
- Educate the younger generation to value and care for the family and the older in the family.