‘Everything has been done for us’

Golden Jasmine boasts wide range of facilities

The studio apartments in Bishan, Golden Jasmine, boasts a service centre to tend to the needs of its elderly residents – the first of its kind here.

Among the facilities for residents are health talks, games as well as a physiotherapy and a traditional Chinese medicine clinic. Service centre staff will also be on hand to respond to emergency calls by residents.

Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng, who was the Guest-of-Honour at the completion ceremony for Golden Jasmine yesterday, said the centre will also provide information and referral services for residents as well as manage the communal space where activities for the residents can be held.

Through these avenues, the hope is that it will encourage active ageing as well as mutual care and support among residents, said Mr Wong, who is also Member of Parliament for Bishan.

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) spearheaded this pilot project.

Econ Healthcare manages the centre and its services come free, said chief executive officer Chua Song Khim.

Pitched as a housing option for seniors seeking an independent lifestyle, there are 176 units at Golden Jasmine which come in two sizes, 35 and 45 square metres.

HDB said the units provide sufficient living space for a one- or two-person household.

All the apartments are sold in a ready-to-move-in condition with elderly-friendly fittings such as kitchen cabinets and gas stove, wardrobe, light fittings as well as features like grab bars, which aid mobility.

They are also located within established towns with convenient access to commercial facilities and which are well served by public transport.

These apartments come with a 30-year-lease and are meant for those who are at least 55 years old with a monthly household income of up to $8,000.

It was these features, as well as the affordability, that prompted Mr M Vallasamy, 57, to downgrade from his five-room flat in Bishan for a unit at Golden Jasmine.

He will be moving into the apartment this week with his 50-year-old wife and 24-year-old son, he added.

“Everything has been done for us, which is good,” said Mr Vallasamy, who is self-employed. “The flats are smaller and easier for us to maintain,” he added.

To date, HDB has launched about 3,400 studio flats. It will continue to build more such flats in various locations to meet the needs of the ageing population.

Source : Today – 12 Jul 2010

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