Community Series #5 - Tapping on Our Silver Lining

02 Aug 2019

Standard Chartered Bank:    Download all slides here  |  View video here
NVPC: View video here
Agency for Integrated Care: View video here
RSVP Singapore:    View video here

Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) held our fifth Community Series on seniors – not just about their challenges against the backdrop of an ageing population, but also how to empower them.

Here are three key insights from the session.

1. Adapt to the changing needs of the community

The question that drives much of SCB’s initiatives is – “Are we meeting the needs of the elderly in Singapore?” Tracing back their corporate giving roots in Singapore in 2012, SCB recounted how they settled on ageing as a community focus in Singapore and worked on meeting the medical needs of elderly in Singapore. Facilitating various activities such as medical screening was a gratifying experience for the bank, allowing staff to bond and empathise with both the elderly and within the team.

Later, when the Pioneer Generation Package was launched, SCB had to consider whether they were still adding value to the lives of elderly, or if there were more pressing needs that they could meet, such as social inclusion and mental health issues of the elderly. Several of their initiatives include promoting digital literacy among seniors, donating unused credit card promotion vouchers (that would otherwise be thrown away) to seniors to exercise a freedom of choice as opposed to being given hand-outs, and supporting RSVP Singapore in unlocking the potential of seniors as a force for good.

> View their corporate giving journey in the presentation here.

2. Fighting Ageism

Elderly volunteerism is one of the focus of NVPC’s Individual Giving Study (IGS), a national flagship study conducted to understand the giving behaviours of Singaporeans. While seniors report the lowest volunteerism rates of all age groups, they are also the most committed age group, and NVPC sought to understand some of the challenges and barriers in senior volunteerism.

A quick visual survey around the room showed that we associate Singapore’s elderly as being grumpy and unfriendly, a telling sign that ageism is deeply entrenched in our society – and in our elderly too, with IGS reporting that seniors are more likely to view other seniors in a poor light (as opposed to their own position) and doubt their ability to help. Seniors also see themselves as a burden: while on average they indicate a greater number of people they can turn to in times of trouble, they do not indicate their children as part of this group, worried about “troubling” their children with their issues.

Empowering seniors to volunteer can hence reap dividends – seniors who volunteer are healthier, more self-confident, and are more satisfied with their lives, and they fill a critical gap in regular volunteerism.

>  View the presentation here. The IGS Report will be out in September 2019 and the deck will be shared then.

3. Engage to Empower

Combating ageism requires a rethink of how we view seniorsnot as beneficiaries to take care of, but individuals who can contribute to society and should be empowered with the right support to live the lives they want.

For example, through its community partners, AIC has been hosting engagement clinics at various organisations where seniors work and using that time to share more about the Merdeka Generation Package while understanding any issues they need help with. Such sessions are a show of support from the organisation and provide the seniors with much needed information on a wide variety of issues.

> Watch the playlist here