PRIMARY HEALTH CARE FOR OLDER PEOPLE AT THE FRONTLINE - THE WHO AGE FRIENDLY PROJECT AND THE SINGAPORE PILOT

Author(s): 
GCH KOH 1, A KALACHE 2, S MENDE 3, BY TAN 4, KL TAN 5
1 Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine - National University of Singapore, Singapore, 2World Health Organization, Switzerland, 3Tsao Foundation, Singapore, 4St Luke's Hospital, Singapore, 5SingHealth Polyclinics, Singapore
Text: 
BACKGROUND: An unprecedented ageing boom has swept Asia with increasing numbers of older people at higher risk of developing chronic diseases and therefore some of the highest consumers of primary health care (PHC). PHC centres are ideally placed at the frontline for prevention and management of chronic disease and disability. However, multiple factors, including ageist attitudes, lack of geriatric training, inaccessibility, fragmented services and cost, pose barriers to older persons.
The World Health Organization responded with the Age Friendly Primary Health Care Project (which follows the WHO Active Ageing Policy Framework) with a set of Guidelines to guide policy makers and service providers.
Singapore was one of the initial pilot sites to test the Guidelines and the accompanying Age Friendly Toolkit designed to provide primary health care centres with practical implementation resources.
GOALS:
• Explore primary care design for an ageing population
• Provide practical tips and experience on implementation
METHOD: Discussion of the WHO initiative will be followed by ground level experiences from the Singapore sites piloting the Guidelines and the resource Toolkit - polyclinics, community hospital and VWO outpatient clinic as well as preliminary findings from other national sites.
A simulation exercise and discussion of practical implementation issues of age friendly primary health care systems will follow.
TIME FRAME: 90 minutes