Atas living at $3,500 a month
It’s no secret that Singapore is home to a rapidly ageing population. In fact, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong once suggested that Singapore is “growing old faster than any other society in the world”.
However, the elderly here do not have much living options to choose from, apart from nursing and old folks’ homes.
But not anymore.
Next month, Singapore’s first retirement village, St Bernadette Lifestyle Village will open its doors at the prime district of Bukit Timah.
What is a retirement village?
Retirement villages are commonplace in the United States and Europe. They offer an alternative housing for the elderly who may require some help like bathing, dressing, eating or visiting the toilet, but do not need intensive nursing and medical care that nursing homes provide.
In short, it is atas living for those who are more mobile to live with dignity.
The village will only take in eight residents, and they will each pay $3,500 per month. Typically, nursing homes charge about $1,200 to $3,500 a month, before 10 to 75 per cent government subsidies.
What does it include?
With the price paid, comes resort-style treatment.
Seniors will be served breakfast, with housekeeping and laundry services made available. Each elderly occupant will have a room with an attached wheelchair-accessible bathroom.
There will be a communal living room with a sofa and television, and a dining area with a small kitchenette. A 24-hour medical concierge can also be activated through an emergency bell should the elderly require assistance. In the event that they need more medical expertise, the doctor and nurses at the Good Shepherd Loft — a nursing home next door — can also render help.
That’s not all
Residents can invite their friends and family for barbecue sessions, practise taiji, or even play mahjong. Otherwise, they can even get staff to accompany them for walks or outings to the nearby mall or hawker centre.
To stay or not to stay
This retirement village definitely sounds like a resort – but only if you can afford it. At $3,500 a month, it would probably be cheaper to hire one or even two domestic helpers.
Or, as Khaw Boon Wan has said, Singaporeans could consider living in nursing homes in neighbouring Johor Bahru.
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