Singapore, September 30, 2020 – The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) has lined up a series of talks, events and activities for senior citizens to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of its Gerontology Programme. The University is the first in Singapore to offer holistic training for a career in the eldercare sector at post-graduate level.
Throughout the month of Oct, SUSS is organising the “Time of Your Life Celebration 2020” series of webinars in collaboration with the National Library Board (NLB). These will be interactive and include panel discussions to exchange ideas on a range of topics that affects seniors, their caregivers and families.
The first session will start on October 1, in conjunction with International Day of Older Persons. Participants will also hear from passionate seniors on what sparks joy and inspires their lives. For details, please refer to Appendix A.
As part of the celebration and to promote active ageing, SUSS is also partnering ActiveSG to offer our senior community a wide selection of specially curated exercises. For details, please refer to Appendix B.
Ten good years and counting
Founded in 2011 by Professor Kalyani Mehta, the SUSS Gerontology Programme offered through the S R Nathan School of Human Development (NSHD), was developed to meet the rapidly ageing population in Singapore, and concomitant need for trained professionals in the health, social and psychological services.
According to Population.sg, by 2030, the number of Singaporeans aged 65 and above is projected to double to 900,000. This means 1 in 4 Singaporeans will be in that age group.
“With Singapore’s population ageing at a fast pace, I witnessed a rise in student applications over the years for our Gerontology Programme, not only from individuals with a social science degree, but also applicants from a variety of professions such as engineering, banking, education and even law. These are welcome additions to the geriatric sector as they can help fill the shortage of professionals in this field and offer new or different perspectives, deriving from their previous work experience and expertise,” said Professor Mehta.
Students get to specialise in three different tracks, according to their interest, namely:
- Applied Research Track – prepares students to address the problems in the eldercare sector and contribute to developing knowledge in the gerontology field.
- Management Track – equips students with vital knowledge and managerial skills necessary to successfully deal with the challenges and opportunities of the changing gerontology landscape.
- Practitioner Track – prepares students to deliver direct care to individuals and resolve issues on the ground.
Over 200 graduates have benefitted from the Programme’s applied and multi-disciplinary training, and networking with partners such as Agency for Integrated Care, St Luke Eldercare, and SportSG. Many became leaders and consultants in the field of gerontology and related services.
NSHD Dean, Associate Professor Lim Lee Ching said, “Ten years ago, when we first started our Gerontology Programme, we pioneered the provision of holistic education and training for students seeking careers in the eldercare and silver sector. We are proud to play a part in nurturing leaders and professionals in this field to serve the needs of elderly persons. Our collaboration with industry partners has also matured. These are positive testimonies of our Programme’s contributions to the sector, and we remain committed to further enrich our curriculum and practice to meet the changing needs of the geriatric sector.”
Gerontology Programme student testimonies
“I am grateful to SUSS for the opportunity to study gerontology. From the Master of Gerontology Programme, I met like-minded adult learners who were not only interested in ageing matters, but also practice professors who encouraged us to apply what we learnt in our community. SUSS gerontology programme has equipped me the skills-sets to understand gerontology through practice and research. Its balanced approach on life course and bio-psychosocial understanding of ageing has enriched my caregiving journey, so much so that I was fascinated with this subject and decided to do a part-time PhD in Gerontology with SUSS! It was a natural choice to study in SUSS given its strong gerontology faculty, the learning environment and support that made my study ever so enjoyable and meaningful.” - Mr Tan Tai Kiat, 44, Director, Operations, SingHealth Community Hospitals, PhD in Gerontology student.
“The vision of S R Nathan School of Human Development is ’Transforming Lives, Serving Society’. This strong focus on contributing to society is aligned with my research mission to improve and impact lives. The extensive network that SUSS has built with community partners provides excellent avenues to apply for research findings. I relish the research opportunities and collaboration provided by SUSS and its partners.” - Ms Ang Xin Yee, Amberyce, 38, Analyst, Ministry of Defence, PhD in Gerontology student.
“The Master of Gerontology Programme has contributed significantly to my personal and professional growth. The multi-disciplinary approach in the curriculum has enriched my perspectives and knowledge in ageing. The internship module provided me with the opportunities to apply my knowledge in our local context and the training from the Programme has helped me in my current work at ActiveSG -- our national movement for sports, where everyone regardless of age can experience the joy of living better through sports.” - Mr Sng Hock Lin, 50, Chief, ActiveSG, PhD in Gerontology student.
“The course enlightened me about the psychological, social and spiritual changes that a person experiences as one become older, beyond the physical changes that are visible to us. The internship experience offered by the School exposes me to the real needs of the sector. I also learned to derive values-driven technological solution to address senior-related issues. Blending technology, business and sociology knowledge-cum-experiences, I can help the sector to leapfrog to the next frontier.” - Ms Khor Hwai Lin, 41, Head of Sales/Business Development (South Asia & South Korea), Infineon, Master of Gerontology student (Practitioner Track).
“I am a second-year Master of Gerontology student. As a 73-year-old student, I find it very difficult to manage my assignments while working full time. I am blessed with supportive professors, faculty members and classmates who make me feel younger. They are extremely kind and share their knowledge unselfishly. They give me confidence to keep learning. It is never too late to acquire knowledge especially something related to ageing, which is very relevant to me. Studying in SUSS can definitely help me keep dementia away as I age!” - Ms Winnie Koh Ah Nah, 73, Chief Executive Officer of Moral Home For The Aged Sick, Master of Gerontology student.
“I was from the pioneer batch of the Master of Gerontology course 10 years ago. It was a study journey which I will never regret. The course has not only widened my horizon, but also opened up many job opportunities including my current role, where I am rolling out new initiatives and projects in dementia care. I believe the Gerontology Programme at SUSS is well positioned to train and provide more experts in the eldercare sector to help our seniors step into a brighter future and lead a fulfilling life in their golden years.” - Ms Eunice Tan, 52, Head, Family of Wisdom (Bendemmer), Alzheimer’s Disease Association, Master of Gerontology graduate.
Time of Your Life 2020: Embracing the experience of ageing
To commemorate the 10th year anniversary of SUSS Gerontology and to celebrate International Day of Older Persons, SUSS partnered with National Library Board (NLB) to organise the Time of Your Life Celebration 2020 event, a webinar series from now until 31 October 2020 to promote active ageing. The objective of this series of webinars is to start conversations and thoughts on elderly topics and issues, which will contribute to the building of an inclusive society for seniors.
NLB’s Time of Your Life Celebration is a signature event that has been organised since 2014 for those 50 years and above. Inspired by the Latin phrase ‘Carpe Diem’, which means to seize the day, this annual event has been encouraging older adults and seniors to make the most of the time they have now, through its programmes and initiatives.
SUSS Head of Gerontology Programme, Associate Professor Carol Ma said, “We are glad to partner NLB in this meaningful initiative to keep our seniors engaged and connected especially during this current climate. We are delighted to bring experts from Singapore and overseas to share a diverse range of Silver topics to commemorate the 10th anniversary of our Gerontology Programme. From here, we can ignite greater awareness of ageing topics and connect our growing community of students, alumni, faculty members with the seniors and industry providers in the community.”
NLB’s Assistant Chief Executive, Public Library Services Group, Ms Catherine Lau said, “This is the first time that the Time of Your Life Celebration is held online so that our senior participants can still look forward to this annual celebration. It is also our first time co-organising this event with SUSS. The event features seniors from all walks of life who will share their inspiring personal experiences of active ageing. We hope that this full suite of programmes will encourage participants to live the time of their lives to the fullest.”
To sign up for the webinar series, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/c/time-of-your-life-celebration-2020-cwxmyhw--p8NqtanyFA0p/
Date & Time
Speakers and hosts
Thurs, Oct 1 10am-12pm
Opportunities and Challenges of Lifelong Learning for Seniors
What good does lifelong learning bring and what are the opportunities available for seniors?
How can seniors chart their own learning journeys and what possibilities are made available after their skills training?
Join us as we launch a month-long celebration of the International Day of Older Persons. Discover how the learning landscape has evolved and will continue to evolve to serve you.
Speakers: Professor Kalyani Mehta, Professor Master and PhD of Gerontology Programmes, SUSS
Ms Jennifer Than, Team Leader, SkillsFuture Advice (South West Community Development Council)
Mr Lim Jit Kai, Director, Family life and Active Ageing, People Association
Ms Wong Chew Wee, Head, National Silver Academy (NSA) Council for Third Age (C3A)
Mr Thomas Kuan, Founder, U 3rd Age (University of Third Age) Singapore
Moderator: Associate Professor Carol Ma, Head of Gerontology Programme
Sat, Oct 10 10am-12pm
Leaving a Personal Legacy
Is there an expiry date on volunteerism? Is volunteering only for energetic students and young adults to be engaged in worthy causes and to expand their networks?
This mind-blowing sharing by speakers from all walks of life will convince even a sceptic on why volunteering in one’s golden years is a way to leave a legacy and enhance one’s social capital.
Be inspired by the panellists to take the first small step towards impacting lives and benefiting from it!
Ms Meng Fong, Executive Director, RSVP
Mr S. Devendran, CEO, Sree Narayana Mission, Singapore (SNM)
Mr Ishwar Lall Singh, Vice-Chairman, Residents’ Committee of SNM Nursing Home
Mr Ameerali Abdeali JP, PPA (G), PBM (Justice of the Peace, President of the Muslim Kidney Association)
Mr Peter Lim, Member, Diabetes Singapore
Moderator: Ms Swapna Dayanandan, SUSS Gerontology in PhD Candidate, Assistant Director, IPAM, Civil Service College
Ageism in Workplace and Society
Sat, Oct 10
Harnessing the Silver Value of Singapore
It is a well-known fact that Singapore’s workforce is ageing rapidly with six in 10 people aged 40 or older.
In a recent speech by Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, he emphasised the need for a “national effort” that requires new thinking among employers to reorient their management philosophies, recruitment and retention practices, so that middle-aged and mature Singaporean workers would have a decent shot to prove themselves and in turn, employers can reap the benefits of hiring them.
Join us for an exciting session to debunk stereotypes of mature workers and explore a myriad of opinions and strategies to counter ageism in the workplace and society at large from a panel of distinguished local and overseas speakers.
There will also be opportunities for participants to exchange views and ideas in breakout groups. Walk away with tangible knowledge and tools that can sufficiently equip oneself when faced with ageism.
Mr Lim Tze Jiat, Director, Employment Standards & International Relations, Workplace Policy & Strategy Division, Ministry of Manpower
Professor Matt Flynn, Professor, University of Hull, Director for the Centre for Research into the Older Workforce
Ms Low Peck Kem, President, Singapore Human Resources Institute
Mr Tan Kwang Cheak, CEO, Agency for Integrated Care
Ms Lim Sia Hoe, Executive Director, Centre for Seniors
Mr Satyaprakash Tiwari, SUSS Gerontology Alumnus, Executive Director, Diabetes Singapore
Sat, Oct 17 10am-12pm
Pleasures of Life
What pleasures can we derive as we advance in age?
Come and join us for a fun-filled session to discuss fashion, food, shopping, money, sex and relationships. Let’s focus on the little things that bring us greater joy and satisfaction in our daily lives.
Speakers: Ms Dean Ng, SUSS Gerontology Alumnus, Co-Founder of The Affirmative People
Ms Eileen Yap, Founder, Singapore Fashion Runway
Ms Marie Ruzicka, Creatrix of the Magickal Land of [Awe]some
Mr Chia Peng Chwan, SUSS Gerontology Alumnus, Financial Consultant
Moderator: Ms Sally Ting, SUSS Gerontology Alumnus
Sat, Oct 17 3pm-5pm
Happiness, Meaning and Life
Happiness and meaning in life are closely intertwined. Joy is possible even as one grows old in poverty and disease.
How can we fully grasp the richness in life and our experiences? Join us as we explore a myriad of insights that will enrich and broaden your perspectives.
Dr Sue McNamara, Regional Network Director, Six Seconds
Ms Michelle Lau, Medical Social Worker, Dover Park Hospice
Mr Chris Brown, Co-Founder, Singapore Stoics Meetup Group
Mr Joseph Yeo, Event Director and Co-Creator, ELDEX Asia
Moderator: Ms Juliana Johan, SUSS Gerontology Alumnus
Gerontology and Technology
Sat, Oct 24
Technology, Innovation and Care (Post COVID-19)
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed healthcare providers to a new frontier, with application of technologies to ensure continued care to patients and residents of eldercare facilities, amidst the new reality of social distancing measures.
Just as remote working is becoming a norm for many companies, COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of telemedicine to diagnose non-emergency medical conditions and wearable wireless sensors deployed to enable remote monitoring of less severe patients in their homes.
Eldercare sector has also taken on digital transformation to overcome manpower crunch in the sector and also provide video check-ins for family members in response to reduced physical visitations due to COVID-19.
The demand for innovative healthcare products and services will continue to rise due to ageing demographics, increasing morbidity from ‘lifestyle’ conditions and preparation for future pandemics.
This panel will share the key innovation initiatives that hospital and eldercare facilities have undertaken, the challenges faced and the future of care delivery.
Mr Gerald Ng, Deputy Director at Digital Innovation Department, Agency for Integrated Care
Dr Ravinder Singh Sachdev, Deputy CMIO, Institute of Geriatrics and Active Ageing Innovation Lead, Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Associate Professor Kenny Tan, CEO, St Luke’s ElderCare
Moderator: Ms Khor Hwai Lin, SUSS Gerontology Alumnus
Gerontology and Technology
Sat, Oct 24 3pm-4.30pm
Geron-technology Startup Opportunities
Asia population is ageing rapidly especially in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. Many seniors in these countries are either living alone or with their spouse.
Geron-technology is getting pervasive, enabling seniors to live an independent life and equipping caregivers to provide better care for them.
Despite the ageing population in Asia, Geron-technology is still a sunrise industry with many opportunities especially for startups.
In this session, we have speakers from Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan to share about the Geron-technology landscape, opportunities, and start-up experiences in their respective countries.
Dr Kelvin Tan, Senior Lecturer, SUSS
Professor Hsu Yeh-Liang, Director, Gerontechnology Research Center, Yuan Ze University & Chief Executive Officer, Seda-Gtech Co. Ltd.
Mr Tan Lee Tuan, Founder, Bekind Solutions Pte Ltd
Mr Samuel Hui, Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, Automation for Humanity
Ms Khoo Kiewai. Director, Business Dev & PR, JETRO Singapore
Moderator: Mr Hock Pho Ang SUSS Gerontology Alumnus
Sat, Oct 31
Writing Your Memoir Workshop
There are golden nuggets of precious insight in everyone’s life experiences.
How can we honour our struggles and recognise the gems in our life story that might be of value to others?
Join us for a journey of self-discovery. By the end of the session, you would have written some amazing pieces about your life story.
Ms Ambika Devi, Founder, Mythologem Press
Ms Rusti L LeHay, Founder, Word Quest
Moderator: Mr Syariman Elendrus, SUSS Gerontology Alumnus, SAF Officer
Sat, Oct 31 3pm-5pm
Communication and Community: Raising Collective Wisdom
Are seniors’ voices being sufficiently heard and what are the avenues that they can harness to share their passion?
What are the communication skills that they need to bring their message across more impactfully?
Seniors possess an immense ability to raise the collective wisdom of society by sharing their experiences.
Come together as a community to discover the power of communication and learn how to better harness your voice.
Ms Carolyn Street, Director, Therapist and Coach, Holistic Coach Singapore
Ms Evelyn Khoo Pei Lee, Founder, Aphasia SG
Ms Melanie Colling, Founder, Purpose Driven Projects and Experts On Air
Mr Mervin Yeo, Founder & Networking Evangelist, Introverts Network Asia and Quiet Impact Asia
Mr Ricky FM Law, Founder, Nation for Future Seniors
Moderator: Mr Sim Wei Choon, SUSS Gerontology Alumnus
To sign up for these ActiveSG Masters Zoom Workouts, please visit: go.gov.sg/activemasters-workout
Date & Time
Type of programme
Fitness workouts by ActiveSG
Oct 5, 12, 19 & 26
Aerobics & Strength Workout
Move it with the music! Improve your hand-leg coordination and agility with our aerobic workout followed by a full-body strength workout using either dumbbells or water bottles for additional resistance. Workout will be accompanied by music.
Oct 6, 13, 20 & 27
Active Masters Workout
A low impact aerobic workout followed by a body-weight functional fitness training to build up muscles to help you perform daily tasks.
Oct 7, 14, 21 & 28
Add on a resistance band to take your workout to the next level. Through this workout, learn how to use a resistance band effectively. This session offers different levels of resistance band workout.
Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
A fun filled workout with bodyweight exercises followed by dance fitness. This session is especially suitable for new participants. We will have Active Health Coach Pang Boon teach us the important fundamentals during the workout session.
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Singapore University of Social Sciences
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Singapore University of Social Sciences
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About the Singapore University of Social Sciences
SUSS is a university with a rich heritage in inspiring lifelong education, and transforming society through applied social sciences. We develop work-ready graduates and work-adaptive alumni to their fullest potential through our 3H’s education philosophy – ‘Head’ for professional competency with applied knowledge, ‘Heart’ for social awareness to meet the needs of the society, and ‘Habit’ for passion towards lifelong learning.
We offer over 70 undergraduate and graduate programmes, available in full- and part-time study modes, which are flexible, modular and inter-disciplinary, catering to both fresh school leavers and adult learners. SUSS also offers a broad range of continuing education and training modular courses for the professional skills upgrading of Singapore’s workforce.
Our programmes and courses are offered by our five schools:
- S R Nathan School of Human Development
- School of Business
- School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences
- School of Law
- School of Science and Technology
To date, over 35,000 graduates have experienced our unique brand of education, and each year, about 15,000 students are pursuing their full- and part-time studies with us.
The Institute for Adult Learning (IAL), as part of SUSS, leads in the field of research on adult learning to build capabilities of the training and adult education sector in Singapore and beyond.
For more information on SUSS, please visit www.suss.edu.sg.