At the signing ceremony for the MOUs were (from left) Changi General Hospital's chief financial officer Lim Lee Nor and CEO Lee Chien Earn; SUSS president Cheong Hee Kiat; SingHealth Community Hospitals' CEO Margaret Lee and finance director Marianne Au; as well as SUSS provost Tsui Kai Chong. PHOTO: SUSS

Jolene Ang, The Straits Times

The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) has made a commitment to help its students better understand and support the needs of the elderly and their caregivers.

Yesterday, it signed two memorandums of understanding (MOU) with the People's Association (Ang Mo Kio Community Centre) and Sport Singapore (SportSG), and with Changi General Hospital (CGH) and SingHealth Community Hospitals, which aim to encourage active ageing and inter-generational bonding.

Under the first MOU, SUSS gerontology faculty and students will work together with the ActiveSG gym at Ang Mo Kio Community Centre to do research on sports, wellness and education. One possible research area is inter-generational communication, said SUSS.

SportSG chief executive Lim Teck Yin said: "This collaboration will see us coming together to enable and learn about active ageing and inter-generational mixing.

"We are looking to nurture social networks where family, friends and colleagues support and sustain an enjoyable and active lifestyle."

SUSS' second agreement with the hospitals will see them "cooperate on healthcare innovation, research and education to help elderly patients" for a period of three years.

Under this partnership, SUSS and the hospitals aim to raise awareness of ageing issues, and advocate for a better environment for seniors, said the university.

CGH will also provide guidance and internship opportunities to SUSS PhD students, particularly those reading gerontology.

Dr Carol Ma, SUSS' head of gerontology, said the university's gerontology programmes aim to develop students with theoretical knowledge and practical experiences in eldercare.

SUSS president Cheong Hee Kiat, who signed the MOUs, said: "With Singapore facing an ageing population, more needs to be done to help the elderly and their caregivers, and encourage inter-generational relationship. These two MOUs are significant and meaningful steps towards this end... It is in line with our university's social focus and applied learning approach."