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More can be done to avoid overlap of charity, community efforts: Tan Chuan-Jin

The money and man-hours can be used to reach out to a greater number of people in need, says the Social and Family Development Minister.

SINGAPORE: More can be done to avoid overlapping efforts between charities and community help groups, said Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on Saturday (Jan 23).  

Speaking at the opening of the Filos Community Services office in Block 38 Chai Chee Avenue, which he officiated, Mr Tan said the money and man-hours can be used to reach out to even more people in need.

"We sometimes don't collaborate as much as we should because we like to maintain our own space and independence, and we should retain that," said Mr Tan. "But all I ask is that we converse or meet up - just engage in the simple effort of sitting down to talk to each other so you can say, 'I didn't know you were doing this' or 'let's coordinate so that we don't overlap'".

The event also saw the launch of a one-stop elder care pilot programme that aims to meet the social, physical and mental care needs of seniors.

Called the 'Care in the Community' programme, it comprises social wellness programmes, befriending services for the social care of vulnerable elderly as well as to monitor their chronic disease and mental health conditions, and home care to assist the physically weak with daily living activities.

The aim is to help the elderly stay in the community for as long as possible, delaying and reducing the need for institutionalisation.

Mr Tan said that with better collaboration, such efforts and others across Singapore can make a tremendous difference by 2030, when the Republic and other countries begin to feel the weight of an ageing society.

"We can look forward to a community where we can all live long, but we can live well," said Mr Tan. "I think we can become a tremendously different nation, simply because we're putting values into action just by reaching out and caring for others."