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Speech by Prof Tan Tai Yong at the Time Of Your Life Celebration 2023

Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Health
Mr Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive Officer, National Library Board (NLB) 
Guest Speakers, Distinguished Guests 
Good afternoon.

I am delighted to join you today at this year’s Time of Your Life Celebration.

2 Since its inauguration in 2011, the Time of Your Life Celebration has been NLB’s signature event for those aged 50 years and above. It celebrates our seniors, young and old, and promotes active ageing and learning for life — core tenets of what we do at SUSS.

3 I was reminded by my colleagues that thirteen years ago, we launched the gerontology programme at the NLB Pod, a vital step in promoting gerontological education and improving the well-being of our older adults. I'm excited to join the launch of the "Come, Let's Chat" Game at the same venue.

4 Through our industry-leading programmes, SUSS cultivates top-tier professionals in gerontology, fostering a skilled workforce that spans the healthcare, social services, and business sectors. We signed our first memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NLB in 2016. This longstanding seven-year collaboration with NLB has facilitated a consistent exchange of insights on eldercare and allowed us to co-create programmes focused on gerontology and the promotion of successful ageing.

5 Today’s celebration will witness the launch of new resources, including an intergenerational reminiscence game – ‘Come! Let’s Chat’. 

6 Some studies have found that reminiscing about the past can significantly increase blood flow to the brain, potentially by up to 80 times. Reminiscence shows promise in alleviating symptoms of depression and slowing the progression of dementia and cognitive decline.   

7 This new game aims to promote the psychological well-being, self-esteem, and happiness of older adults through the power of reminiscence. It is the result of our collaborative efforts with the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) and was inspired by our joint reminiscence project with Dementia Singapore and NAS during the COVID-19 pandemic.

8 In addition to researching the benefits of reminiscence, it is essential to provide training to caregivers, professionals, and volunteers on how to facilitate recollections of past events and experiences in older adults.

9 Therefore, SUSS, with support from The Ngee Ann Kongsi, is pleased to partner with the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) to introduce the new online learning module ‘An Introduction to Reminiscence Facilitation: Enhancing Wellbeing in Older Adults’. SUSS will offer this module to staff of community care organisations. It will also be available for members of the public on our online portal UniLearn.

10 The module builds on earlier training efforts by SUSS. Last month, we trained the first batch of Reminiscence Facilitators from 12 community care organisations. They will complete their practicum before being certified to serve as Reminiscence Facilitators in the eldercare sector.

11 We still have much to do to foster an age-friendly Singapore for all. SUSS is committed to collaborating with the government and other agencies to co-develop a vibrant ecosystem of resources and experiences for seniors and caregivers, and collectively advance the Gerontology support network for successful ageing. 

12 Together, we can create a more inclusive and caring Singapore, where our seniors can continue to thrive in their golden years. Thank you!


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