The demographic trend toward an ageing population is one of Singapore’s greatest issues. The council for third age (C3A) was founded in 2007 as an independent government organisation backed by the Ministry of Health to assist define the present and future of Singapore as an age-diverse, dynamic society where seniors are able to enjoy full, active, and meaningful lives. The C3A has successfully conducted projects on senior volunteering, lifelong and intergenerational learning, and social gerontology, which have enhanced the public view of elders in Singapore.
The initiative of the C3A
The government of Singapore established in 2007 to assist senior residents in attaining a higher quality of life via active ageing in seven aspects of wellness: social, intellectual, physical, financial, vocational, emotional, and spiritual.
The C3A’s operations rely heavily on relationships with communities, businesses, and other institutions. They range from Active Ageing Carnivals to Positive Ageing Toolkits and include partnerships with educational institutions like the National Silver Academy, which promotes lifelong and intergenerational learning by facilitating the participation of seniors in study programmes at national universities. C3A’s primary function, rather than providing direct services, is to assist existing organisations with the research and development of new programmes that enable, encourage, and promote active ageing among Singapore’s population.
The challenges faced
In 2014, the prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, said that a rapidly ageing population would be his greatest worry for the foreseeable future. During the last two decades, the trend toward an ageing population has been a major issue in Singapore. The issue for Singapore’s policymakers was to prepare Singaporean society for this change in age structure by cultivating a future in which elders may live full, active, and purposeful lives.