Aging and Social Isolation in Singapore: a community survey
Singapore is one of the most rapidly aging countries in Asia. The proportion of older adults (aged 60 years and over) in the population, currently about 8%, is projected to increase to 19% by 2030. At the same time, the number of elderly households in Singapore is rising rapidly owing to increased prevalence of smaller, nuclear families and the trend of more people remaining single.
To design evidence-based policies and programs to enhance social networks and prevent social isolation among seniors and to plan for the health care needs of the elderly in the future, a Social Isolation, Health and Lifestyle Survey (SIHLS) was conducted. The main objectives of the survey was to: develop a longitudinal database on the physical and mental health profile of older adults (aged 60 ); to determine the extent of social isolation among older adults, and changes with time, within and between income groups; understand the interactions among health status, income, social engagement, housing, network support and loneliness; the constraints on and channels for social participation and the preferences for preventing and responding to isolation. It provided information comparable to similar longitudinal surveys in Japan and Philippines.