Elderly schemes 'supplement family support'

While new measures such as the Silver Support scheme give financial help to the elderly, the responsibility of caring for the elderly still lies with family members, said Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob yesterday.

In her speech at a charity lunch, she noted that these schemes are good ways to help seniors with very little savings, but stressed that they are meant only to supplement family support.

"What it does is to supplement and augment our efforts to care for the elderly because some of us may not have the full means to do so," she said.

The Silver Support scheme, to be rolled out in the first quarter of next year, aims to support the bottom 30 per cent of Singaporeans aged 65 and above.

About 150,000 of Singapore's elderly stand to receive a payout of $300 to $750 every quarter.

Madam Halimah, a Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC, was speaking at an annual charity lunch organised by the non-profit Singapore Women's Association. The lunch at Kallang Theatre was attended by 300 seniors from groups such as Kreta Ayer Senior Activity Centre and Jamiyah Home for the Aged.

Madam Woo Yun Sum, 85, one of the few surviving samsui women in Singapore, is one of the lunch's regular attendees.

Madam Woo, who lives alone in a Redhill rental flat, was born in Singapore and worked for more than 20 years as a samsui woman in the construction industry.

She wore the traditional red headgear to the lunch.

"I look forward to attending this lunch every year as I get to chat with my friends over good food and music," she said in Cantonese.


This article was first published on March 20, 2015.
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