Singapore active ageing: shopping malls, do your part!

One of the tests of a true-blue Singaporean, apart from holding a pink Singapore identity card issued by the Singapore government, is how fast off the block you are when a new shopping mall opens its doors to the public.

The latest shopping mall is Nex in Serangoon North. Apprehensive of a bruising battle with sharp elbows with the expected hordes of curious shoppers, I waited patiently for about two weeks for the craziness to subside before venturing forth.

So what’s so special about Nex? Frankly, nothing. Just another mall with the usual retailers like Watson, NTUC, BreadTalk, Starbucks, McDonald’s etc except the National Library Board which has a branch on the rooftop.

What struck me was that the silver brigade was out in full force, some tottering on walking sticks. Even they could not resist the lure of a new shopping mall. They give active ageing a new dimension.

But there was not a single seat in the  mall for the senior citizens. The reason is not far to seek: to drive them to the eateries. 

Shopping malls should not be driven solely by profit. They should also show some corporate social consciousness towards society by making their premises more senior- friendly.

And where did the seniors go to rest their arthritic legs? I found many of them in the public library, including one with a walking aid.

Perhaps, Mr Lim Boon Heng, Minister-in-charge of ageing issues in the Prime Minister’s Office, could look into this problem. Don’t forget Singapore has one of the fastest ageing societies in the world.

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3 Responses to “Singapore active ageing: shopping malls, do your part!”

  1. Kowshik Sriman
    Managing Director
    SAP Singapore

    SINGAPORE’S ageing population is a social, political and economic issue. Instead of looking at it as an issue concerning others who are older, I choose to see it as an issue that will concern me after some time. It is important that our elderly, having contributed in a big way to building Singapore, are accorded a respectful position in society, and that we take care of them and treat them the way we would like to be treated in future.

    So while most people understand the financial cost aspects of ageing, like the rising cost of healthcare and generally, the cost of living in Singapore, the biggest challenge as I see it is how the ageing population integrates with the society at large and stays relevant to the younger generation. (The Business Times, March 21)

  2. Theories abound and arguments get lost with all that cluttered ‘Economic 101’ phraseology.

    I walk in pain after 15 minutes or so and need a seat in the beautifully constructed air-conditioned malls, shopping centres or whachamaycallit.

    There’s hardly a seat to be found and, as Mr Poh suggests, I need to pay for my seat at the coffee outlet or food court.

    It’s that simple. So, to all shopping malls: PLEASE HAVE MORE SEATS ALONG THE CORRIDORS FOR EVERYONE! THANK YOU.

  3. Taka, Vivo City are among the few that are elder-friendly. Seniors should consider boycotting those that take them for granted and boycott them. Malls are a dime a dozen; shop elsewhere.


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