Singapore: Ageing Gracefully

Rethinking health and wellness for the elderly

Project brief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Research & analysis

By 2030, Singapore will experience a profound shift in its age demographics with the elderly population increasing by three times. This calls for a radical change in perspective on how care can be better delivered to the elderly.

The “Design for Ageing Gracefully” project explored current healthcare experiences of the ageing population in Singapore, to identify trends, behaviours and gaps in the interaction between elderly people and the healthcare system.

This project brings together designers and stakeholders in the healthcare and social service sectors to go through the human-centred design thinking process to innovate and improve healthcare services for the elderly.

 

Research & analysis

Global trends study

Participatory design

Application to Kampung Admiralty

 

Field research was conducted with low to middle income elderly, their caregivers and social workers in Singapore.

 

 

 

Interview and shadowing

Interview and shadowing

Mapping a day in the life

Mapping social network

Mapping social network

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging themes and design opportunities

Difficulties navigating healthcare services without English abilities

Difficulties navigating healthcare services without English abilities

1. Coping with challenges - identity, 'east' and 'west', loneliness, social circles and finances.

How can we ensure that the elderly in Singapore society are given options that help them to bridge the gap between their own methods and strategies, and the healthcare system?

 

 

 

Strong adherence to religious practices

Strong adherence to religious practices

2. Searching for new normal - identity and lifestyle.

How can an efficient system also become one that is aware of and responsive to people’s social needs and behaviours?

 

 

 

Traditional medicine and alternative healing

Traditional medicine and alternative healing

 

3. Cultural nuances - traditional beliefs and alternative medicine.

How can a monolithic healthcare system respond flexibly and appropriately to different cultural needs?

 

 

 

Learning caregiving techniques

Learning caregiving techniques

4. Caregiver and external aids - challenges faced by caregivers and volunteers.

How can volunteer and informal care be integrated more tightly into the system, so that they complement each other as parts of a holistic healthcare offer?

 

 

 

Unable to retire without sufficient savings

Unable to retire without sufficient savings

5. Having a robust retirement plan - low education and low paying jobs.

How can we redesign the retirement and healthcare system to catch the people who “slip through the cracks”, but still remain fair, feasible and affordable for Singapore’s integrated care system?

 

 

 

 

 
Eight personas were developed based on the characteristics of the research participants. They are used as a reference point when co-designing service and product concepts to resolve experience gaps for elderly Singaporeans.

Eight personas were developed based on the characteristics of the research participants. They are used as a reference point when co-designing service and product concepts to resolve experience gaps for elderly Singaporeans.

 
 
 
 

Global trends study

 

Participatory design

A review of the best practices for healthcare and ageing around the world - The full report traces the current care landscape, covering more than 40 international cases, presenting 5 core themes and 12 emerging trends in elderly care.

 

 

 

 

 

The purpose of Workshop for the public sector: Designing services and experiences for the elderly in communities and public healthcare institutions is to

  • Share and validate research findings - transform them into real-world applications

  • Help healthcare professionals learn/apply design thinking and user-centred design tools in their work

  • Generate ideas with respect to healthcare experience gaps faced by elderly Singaporeans today

 

70 stakeholders from the healthcare sector e.g. Alexandra Health, Eastern Health Alliance, SingHealth etc., social services e.g. the Agency of Integrated Care and National Council of Social Services etc, designers and developers from the design and technology sector participated in the workshop.

 

 

Participants were presented insights from the research study and were invited to provide expert feedback, validate research insights (i.e. personas and customer journeys) and co-design services based on design opportunities. 

(from L-R) Kopi and Toast & Doctors on the Move, One Heart Many Hands, Care for Carers, Meaningful Data Selection, Walk with Granny, Sayang, Simply Subsidy, Neighbour to Neighbour, Rehab with Wellness.

 

These initial concepts touched upon a wide spectrum of possible solutions often driven by community driven approaches to reduce the gap between healthcare providers and the elderly; involves identifying and connecting existing community welfare organizations to resolve specific elderly needs; establishing a wide network of caregivers within the elderly's community.

 

 

 

Imagining Kampung Admiralty

Kampung Admiralty translates to 'Admiralty Village' in Malay, a native tongue of Singapore. 

 

 

First-of-its-kind in Singapore, Kampung Admiralty is an integrated development that aspires to bring back the mutual helping culture typical of villages past, foster active ageing and ageing in place enabled by community-based care.

Imagining Kampung Admiralty is a design innovation workshop to facilitate and initiate co-design of enabling services in the shared spaces around Kampung Admiralty such as the Active Ageing Hub, Community Plaza, Community Farm etc. Our research insights were communicated to help focus the spotlight on active ageing, assisted living, and care needs

 

 

Participating agencies include Ministry of Health Ageing Planning OfficeNational Environment AgencyHousing Development BoardAgency for Integrated CareAlexandra Health, eldercare operators, architects and designers. The architects and space planners helped to validate the concepts in terms of feasibility.

 

Some of the initial concepts

IMG_3259.jpg

Pet-Enabled Therapy (PET) Hub

Providing companionship, therapeutic benefits and opportunities to connect with other members of Kampung Admiralty through an alternative pet shelter. 

 

 

 

Kampung Talents

A platform that matches flexible bite-sized job opportunities to its residents, based on their expertise, physical ability level, and most importantly, their interests. 

 

 

 

Kampung Currency

A skill-matching platform that incentivises elderly volunteerism using credits that can be used and spent only in Kampung Admiralty.

 

 

 

Recharge

Decentralized caregiving support stations set up at informal meeting spaces around Kampung Admiralty.

 

 
 
 

Team                               

 

Experientia 

My key responsibilities are UX research and service design

Duration    

 

> 6 months