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Schemes to keep elderly informed


The Straits Times


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SENIOR citizens can stay informed on issues relevant to them with two schemes lined up by the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) for next year.


One is a monthly session on current affairs that will start in February at the self-help group's centres in Ang Mo Kio and Bukit Panjang. Volunteers will use Mandarin and dialects to explain issues in the mass media and on social media to elderly folk.


This will help seniors - many of whom do not understand English and seldom use the Internet - keep abreast of what is happening in Singapore, said Mr Baey Yam Keng, chairman of the CDAC's volunteers engagement and development committee.


"It would be a pity if they lose out on this information and then, through ignorance or lack of knowledge, become victims of certain people who are up to no good," he said yesterday.


The second initiative by the CDAC is a series of outreach sessions, spread over the year, on topics relevant to elderly folk, such as the lease buyback scheme or the universal health insurance programme MediShield Life.


These will build on the success of similar gatherings held in recent months to educate them about the Pioneer Generation Package, Mr Baey told reporters at the last of five such sessions this year. Conducted over the past six months, the Pioneer Generation Package sessions have reached out to more than 2,000 senior citizens, said Mr Baey.


He added that the CDAC's efforts to step up engagement with seniors are part of a new movement that has taken root here since the $8 billion Pioneer Generation Package to honour the elderly was announced this year.


"I think what the Government has done by recognising the contributions of the pioneer generation has started this movement in society about caring for the elderly," he said.


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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