Community and home-based care, health systems and applications and the psycho-social well-being of older adults will be among key areas of joint research by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Geriatric Education and Research Institute (GERI) to help Singapore better manage the demands of being a rapidly ageing society.
It is part of NTU’s continuing efforts to find innovative ways for the elderly in Singapore to lead fulfilling lives in their silver years. About 20 per cent of the country’s population will be 65 years of age and above in the next 10 years.
Led by the Ageing Research Institute for Society for Education (ARISE) at NTU, other areas of joint research will be in health policies, and in frailty syndrome, a condition common amongst the elderly where this is a loss of health and the ability to carry out basic daily functions.
NTU and GERI will also work towards the development and exchange of postgraduates and researchers through attachments and internships, and conduct joint workshops, seminars and conferences.
The partnership was inked at the inaugural ARISE Research Symposium at the Novena campus of NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine today.
Mr Amrin Amin, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs, witnessed the signing ceremony, together with Prof Bertil Andersson, President of NTU, and Prof Philip Choo, Group CEO of the National Healthcare Group, Chairman, ARISE Advisory Board, and a member of GERI’s management committee.
Prof Bertil Andersson said, “NTU’s partnership with GERI, the national body for ageing studies, aims to develop innovative solutions for Singapore as it faces the multifaceted challenge of a rapidly ageing society.
“NTU’s expertise in research, technology and education in ageing is being led by ARISE, which focuses on developing policies that are responsive and relevant to the needs of the elderly. Singapore’s people are its most valuable resource and the elderly, with their wealth of experience and knowledge, can still contribute to the country’s future and lead fulfilling lives.”
ARISE leverages NTU’s expertise in inter and multi-disciplinary research, such as in engineering, business, medicine, behavioural and social sciences, to help contribute to Singapore’s vision of providing sustainable high-quality eldercare to allow them to lead fulfilling lives in their silver years.
Describing GERI’s partnership with NTU as a significant milestone in ageing-related research in Singapore, Prof Pang Weng Sun, Executive Director of GERI, said, “Singapore’s healthcare system is undergoing transformation to improve the well-being and health of our elderly population. Through collaboration with established academic institutions like NTU, we will be able to harness each other’s multi-disciplinary expertise. We look forward to working closely with ARISE to better understand the needs of the elderly and improve care provision for our ageing population”.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Prof Theng Yin Leng, Acting Executive Director of ARISE at NTU, and Prof Pang Weng Sun, who is also Vice-Dean (Clinical Affairs) at NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.
ARISE Research Symposium as platform for discussion on ageing
The international symposium sees experts taking part in panel discussions on health and social issues related to ageing. It focuses on three areas – ageing in diabetes among the aged, the importance of nutrition in older adults and the science behind it, and community care.
ARISE’s strategic initiatives are focusing research on diabetes, nutrition, lifestyle and related factors among older adults in Singapore, which is an under-researched topic.
Several of NTU’s ongoing projects into ageing are also on display at the symposium.
They include “Pumpkin Garden”, a scalable platform to unobtrusively collect personal wellness data from users in a game-like environment to help with the early detection of Parkinson’s disease.
Also highlighted is the “H-Man”, a machine that provides a semi-independent assessment and training set-up for the elderly to help them do regular physiotherapy exercises from the comfort of their homes.
Postgraduate scholarship in Applied Gerontology
The symposium also sees the Ngee Ann Kongsi Postgraduate Scholarship in Social Sciences being awarded to four students from the inaugural cohort of NTU’s Master of Science in Applied Gerontology programme.
They are Ms Cally Chantale Ng Jiaying, 25, a social work associate at FaithActs; Mr Kek Zhen Liang, 29, a programme executive at the Alzheimer’s Disease Association; Ms Mo Minyi, 35, a nurse manager at Tan Tock Seng Hospital; and Ms Laura Lai Suay Theng, 45, a certified public accountant and the only recipient who is a part-time student.
Presenting the awards is Mr Goh Kim Hock, Chairman of the Education/Scholarships & Bursaries Sub-Committee at Ngee Ann Kongsi.
Ngee Ann Kongsi offers up to 12 postgraduate scholarships in the social sciences annually to Singapore citizens and permanent residents pursuing a postgraduate programme in the social sciences at Ministry of Education-approved institutions. The scholarship covers the tuition fee for the duration of the programme, and is offered to full and part-time students.
Launched early this year to meet the rising demand for skilled professionals, NTU’s Master of Science in Applied Gerontology programme aims to equip its students with the knowledge and skills to prepare them for a career in clinical, hospital and care management, teaching, and research roles.
Tan Yo-Hinn (Mr)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
T: +65 6790 4889
About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
Ranked 11th in the world, NTU has also been ranked the world’s top young university for the last four years running. The University’s main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg.
About the Geriatric Education & Research Institute
The Geriatric Education & Research Institute (GERI) was set up in 2015 as a national entity under the Ministry of Health to focus on the development, coordination and implementation of geriatric-related initiatives to help Singapore better prepare for the challenges of an ageing population.
GERI aims to address gaps in acute, community and long-term care space through rigorous clinical and translational research in the areas of senior care delivery in the community, frailty prevention and management, clinical geriatrics and end of life care. Its educational arm evaluates and facilitates the development of curriculum to train healthcare professionals to better understand the needs of elderly patients.
For more information, visit www.geri.com.sg.