Friday, 21 September 2018

Project Silver Screen: New programme offers senior citizens aged 60 and above basic functional screening for hearing, eyesight and oral health at subsidised rates

More seniors to benefit from functional screening
By Rahimah Rashith, The Straits Times, 20 Sep 2018

More seniors are set to benefit from health screenings, with the launch of a new partnership between the Ministry of Health (MOH), Temasek Foundation Cares and the business community.

Project Silver Screen was launched at Kampung Admiralty yesterday, and around 200 people from the neighbourhood took the chance to have their vision, hearing and oral health checked.

The programme, which is underpinned by a contribution of $35 million from Temasek and 11 corporate donors, will scale up the number of these checks across Singapore.

It will also help subsidise the cost of the screening and the functional aids some seniors might need.

The programme is free for Pioneer Generation citizens.

For Singaporeans who are 60 and above, it costs $2 for Community Health Assist Scheme card holders and $5 for others.

Project Silver Screen vouchers of between $15 and $200 will also be given to those who need aids such as spectacles, hearing aids and dentures.

This is over and above existing government subsidies and regardless of household income.

Seniors getting the health checks - also known as a functional screening - might then be referred to the relevant community or medical centres for further tests, such as for cataracts or glaucoma, if need be.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said at the launch that the programme will help seniors stay healthy longer.

"Beyond chronic conditions, we are also concerned about how to help them maintain the functional abilities so that they can remain active, remain engaged and have healthy living and be as independent as possible," he said.

"Through the functional screenings, we hope to be able to detect their conditions early and to prevent early deterioration.

"This way, we will be able to help our seniors stay healthy and stay well longer."

Around 23,000 seniors have attended the pilot programme for Project Silver Screen since January - an almost fivefold increase from last year, according to the MOH.

The pilot phase found that many people were unaware they had issues with their vision, hearing or oral health.

About half of those attending the pilot screenings had vision issues, about 30 per cent had dental problems and 70 per cent had some form of hearing loss.

Successful ageing: Seeing life in a new light
The Ministry of Health's functional screening programme helps to improve seniors' vision, hearing and oral health
By Joshua Wong, The Sunday Times, 23 Sep 2018

Mr Pang Shee Heng used to lead a solitary life. The nonagenarian, who is partially blind and deaf, lives alone in his rental flat in Toa Payoh. His daughter would occasionally visit, but apart from that, he rarely received visitors.

"I did not dare to go out often, as I was worried about giddiness and falling down," he says.

Mr Pang, 94, is completely blind in one eye, so he is not able to make out faces on his television screen in front of him. He is also partially deaf.

Things improved when he went for a basic functional screening in March. This screening programme is offered to Singaporeans aged 60 and above.

Mr Pang now wears new glasses and can see faces clearly (even if his memory does not always allow him to match names to them). And, while his hearing remains patchy, he can chat with people.

"I can see further now, and more clearly. I feel safer when I go out due to my improved vision," he says.


It all began when some staff from the Silver Generation (SG) Satellite Office in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC noticed Mr Pang walking past their office very slowly, leaning heavily on his walking stick whenever he went shopping for groceries.

During an outreach session, some SG Ambassadors visited Mr Pang at his home to get to know him and to explain the various support schemes available for elderly residents, including functional screening.

As he could not move around easily on his own, the SG Ambassadors accompanied him for the functional screening on March 15 under Project Silver Screen (PSS), a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Temasek Foundation Cares and the business community. This programme aims at improving the quality of life of seniors by providing checks on their vision, hearing, and oral health and arranging for follow-up treatment if necessary.

Through this project, seniors who require assistive devices will be linked up with relevant care services in their community and receive access to affordable spectacles, hearing aids and dentures to boost their overall health and quality of life.

After his screening, Mr Pang received new prescription spectacles from the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), and low-vision optical aids to help him read newspapers. He was also referred to the Senior Eye Rehabilitation (SEER) Programme, a funded consultation with a community occupational therapist.

For his hearing, he received a new hearing aid from Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He also went for a dental appointment at a mobile bus run by Unity Denticare to get his teeth cleaned and cavities filled.

The best part? Mr Pang did not pay a cent, thanks to the various subsidies and PSS vouchers he received.


PSS is free for Pioneer Generation cardholders, costs $2 for Community Health Assist Scheme card holders, and $5 for all other Singaporeans.

If individuals require follow-up treatment, they will be referred to the relevant health services. Need-based subsidies are available for all treatments, and PSS vouchers between $15 and $200 will also be given to those who require aids such as spectacles, hearing aids and dentures.

Visit or call the Singapore Silver Line at 1800-650-6060 (Mondays to Fridays, 8.30am to 8.30pm, and Saturdays, 8.30am to 4pm, excluding public holidays) for more details.

Ministry of Health partners Temasek Foundation Cares and the business community to launch Project Silver Screen for senior citizens aged 60 and above - 19 Sep 2018

5 Reasons to “Jio" Your Ah Pa to SG’s First Senior Health Screening Programme

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