SINGAPORE: Singapore's first retirement community at Kampung Admiralty gave out keys to its first batch of residents on Saturday (Aug 12).
The 11-storey complex - which integrates residential units, medical and surgical services, childcare and eldercare centres and shops - will be fully operational by early 2018. Certain facilities are already available for residents.
MP for Sembawang GRC Khaw Boon Wan, who oversees the area, said Kampung Admiralty was built with specific aims in mind.
For example, public spaces such as a fully sheltered community plaza on the ground level, will encourage the elderly to leave their homes to socialise, while a childcare centre that has about 200 places will promote inter-generation bonding.
"Here, I see grandparents live in the studio apartments, young parents drop their kids at childcare, shop here, eat here, whole family can have many opportunities to come together. No need to rush if parents have to work late, grandparents can pick up kids from childcare, while both enjoy their time together," said Mr Khaw, who is also minister of transport.
There is also a community park and community garden for residents to come together and interact over gardening-related activities.
The two residential blocks of about 100 studio apartments are almost fully booked. The Housing Development Board (HDB) says about 60 per cent of those who bought a flat in the area are existing residents of Woodlands or nearby towns who would like to age in place.
"I grew up in Woodlands so I wanted to continue staying in Woodlands. And here everything is under one roof so it's convenient," said 60-year-old dental therapist Rohani Ahmad. “As you grow older, you don't want to travel so far to get what you need.”
Elderly-friendly features are included within the apartments, such as vinyl floors so seniors are less likely to slip and fall. Induction hobs also take the place of conventional gas or electric stoves so seniors don't have to deal with open flames during cooking. This also eliminates the risk of fire or gas leakage.
A two-level medical centre on the third and fourth levels opened in phases from July this year. It provides residents with specialist care and the option of day surgery. It is run by clinical departments from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. There is also a pharmacy on the ground floor.
On the second floor will be a hawker centre providing healthy and cheap meals. Each of the 43 food stalls will offer at least two meals at S$2.80 or less, and up to 50 per cent of all dishes will conform to the healthier choice standards by the Health Promotion Board. The 900-seater hawker centre will open in September.