The Rooftop Garden
On the same level as the care centres, there is a children playground and a senior fitness area. However, there wasn’t anyone using the facilities. Perhaps, the weather was too hot to be out in the sun. There are also many benches around for residents to hang around and chat with their friends and neighbours.
Initially I thought of bringing my parents (I brought them along after our breakfast at Give n Take Café), but on the way up my mum felt unwell. I think it was due to the hot weather and also because the walkway wasn’t sheltered. My dad brought her back indoors while I went up. The farm was wheelchair accessible with ramps and there were also resting points along the way. The community farm has a large diversity of plants ranging from fruits to vegetables — star fruit, mango, guava, lemon, lady’s fingers, longan, just to list a few.
There are various spots where residents can borrow wheelchairs from. These wheelchairs are provided by the medical centre. All the lifts at the estate are wheelchair accessible. The benches are also installed with grab bars and the flooring uses anti-slip materials. The apartments are fixed with alarms where seniors can use it to alert their neighbours should an accident arises at home.
I feel that the idea of ageing-in-place is still a new concept and the facilities and design for it is considered still rather premature. For starters, I strongly believe that medical care at the estate should be 24 hours in order to attend to patients better in the midst of an emergency. The walkway to the community farm should also be sheltered if their objective is to encourage more seniors to engage themselves in farming. Even though there are many areas for improvements, I think this is a good first step towards the government’s intention of facilitating ageing-in-place; instead of institutionalisation. Singapore should have more of such developments where designing for the aged is the intention at the start, rather than an afterthought.