Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Elderly Challenge - Observation 4

For the past week, I have been observing the elderly in the hawker centre and wet market in the Telok Blangah Mall. Unfortunately, I am not permitted to take any photos. Hence, I cannot show any pictures of the elderly in hawker centre and wet market. The hawker centre and wet market are quite cram. The place is usually quite wet and as the hawker centre and wet market are not fully sheltered, when it rains, the whole place would be very wet and slippery. Sometimes, it may even be flooded. The following are the good and bad points of the hawker centre and wet market.

As the hawker centre and wet market are usually wet and slippery, it is easy for the elderly to trip and fall. In addition, most people do not bother to help the elderly even if they fall. And sometimes in the hawker centre and wet market, there are children running around the place. This may make the elderly fall more often.

However, there are several parts of the hawker centre that are more elderly friendly. There are handles and railings around those areas which allows the elderly to move around easily. The spaces between the chairs at those areas are also further apart so the the elderly or the handicapped can sit in their wheelchairs when eating with their friends or family, and do not have to get off and on it over and over again which makes it less difficult for them.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Simple Room Design for the Elderly

This picture shows the room I have designed that is more elderly-friendly. Like most rooms, there is a table, a chair, a cupboard and a bed. A television and sofa is also included in this room. Unlike most rooms, this room has red buttons, railings and a carpet. The red button is for emergency use, for example, the elderly in this room needs help. He or she will then press this button and volunteers or nurses would come in to help them. The railings are for support, so it is easier for the elderly to move around the room. And the carpet has a slightly rough surface and it is also quite thick. The rough surface is so that the elderly would not slip and fall easily. The thickness of the carpet is so that it would be quite soft, so even if the elderly falls, it would not cause much impact to them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Elderly Challenge - Observation 3

This week, I have been observing the elderly while they are crossing the road nearby a wet market and hawker centre. Unfortunately, no pictures are allowed to be taken. Hence, I cannot produce any pictures of the elderly crossing the road. This is a brief description of that road. The road is quite wide, so the elderly would have to walk about 10-15 metres in order to cross the road. The road is also very uneven which makes it more difficult for the elderly to cross. There is also no zebra crossing, traffic light or over-head bridges. Even most of the drivers tend to be impatient. The following are a few difficulties, problems or problems the elderly face when crossing that particular road.

As the road is quite wide, most drivers are impatient and there is no zebra crossing, traffic light or over-head bridges, it is very difficult for the elderly to cross the road. It may even be difficult for people that are of a younger age to cross the road. The drivers should be more patient when people are crossing the road, especially when the elderly are crossing, if not, unwanted accidents may happen.

Another difficulty, problem or challenge that the elderly face when they are crossing that road is that the road is uneven. This may cause the elderly to trip and fall quite easily. I think that the road should be made even before major accidents/incidents happen.

Understanding "The Elderly Challenge"

(1) Explain in your own words, the FOUR key recommendations of the report.
> Creating houses or rooms for the elderly to live or stay in. These houses/rooms would be designed specially for them to fulfill their needs.
> Modifying things (eg: lifts, walkways etc.) to make it easier the the elderly/senior citizens to use.
> Caring for the elderly. For example, the elderly who are in meed of medical attention could be brought to the eldercare services.
> Creating opportunities for the elderly. The elderly should lead balanced lifestyles and also should get involved with community activities.

(2) State ONE way that the CAI report is recommending to make our public housing more elderly-friendly.
By improving the state of public walkways. For example, making the the sloped walkways less steep, making the walkways wider and locating the drains further away from the walkways.

(3) State TWO ways on how we can ensure that the quality of elderly care here in Singapore is affordable.
> The government could pay for the needs of the poorer elderly in Singapore. For example, paying for their necessities.
> The government could set up a free eldercare centre for the poorer elderly who need medical attention or just people (volunteers) to take care of them.

(4) After reading the CAI report, what do you are the THREE things that you can do, as an SST student, to help overcome these elderly challenges.
> I can teach them basis ICT skills for them to communicate online with their friends and relatives.
> I can organise community activities with the help from my teachers, parents and friends for the elderly.
> I can visit Seinor Citizens' centres and help to clean up the place or decorate it with my friends.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Elderly Challenge - Observation 2

For this past week, I have been observing the elderly in the Senior Citizens' Corner near my house, in Telok Blangah Heights. They did not give me the permission to take photos of them, so I cannot produce any pictures of what the elderly do and the difficulties, challenges or problems they face daily in the Senior Citizens' Corner. In the Senior Citizens' Corner, there is a fridge, a vending machine, a television, a few tables and chairs/benches. These are some examples of challenges, difficulties or problems they face.

As the Senior Citizens' Corner is near the playground and the outdoor badminton court, many children and/or teenagers walk, roller blade, cycle, run, skate, etc. through the Senior Citizen's Corner. Some of them even play soccer, catching, etc. in the Senior Citizens' Corner. These actions may cause the elderly to fall easily. And there is no one around to help them, so if they fall, it may cause major injuries.

Another challenge that the elderly face is that the television is too high up (the television is very close to the ceiling). And because the area is quite small, the elderly would have to look up in order for them to watch TV. This may cause their necks to ache.

Also, the Senior Citizens' Corner is quite small and there is quite a number of furnitures. So, the elderly do not have much space to walk around. And if they happen to fall, they made hit/knock against something.

One good thing about the Senior Citizens' Corner is that the floor tiles are not really smooth. So, if there is no one around, there is a low possibility of the elderly falling down. However, if they did fall, and land on the rough surface, they may get injured quite badly.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Elderly Challenge - Observation 1

For the past week, I have been observing my grandfather whenever I visited him at his house. My grandfather does not allow me to take any pictures of him, so I cannot show any photos of his daily routines and the problems or difficulties he faces everyday. He lives in a terrace house with my aunt, two of my uncles, my 1 year old cousin and their domestic helper. They have three miniature schnauzers as pets. The following are some of the challenges he faces at home.

As he lives in a terrace house, he has difficulties in climbing up and down the stairs. He would usually refuse to allow his domestic helper to hold on to him. So he would hold on the railings at the side of the stairs with his domestic helper standing at the side watching him carefully, making sure he does not fall.

Another challenge that my grandfather faces is that he has difficulties walking around the house because the three miniature schnauzers would be running around the place and the floor tiles are quite slippery.