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Singapore Conference Addresses “Aging Well in a Time of Longevity”

By Leng Leng Thang, Singapore

On 20 April 2009, National University of Singapore (NUS) Virtual Institute for the Study of Ageing (VISA) organized its first conference, titled "Aging well in a time of longevity." This one-day conference was the first to draw together NUS researchers from cross disciplines, including clinical, social-political, engineering, and design, for an exciting exchange of research and meeting of views on the issues of aging well.

Among the themes that emerged across the disciplines was "active aging," and discussions included sociologists’ call for ways to foster active aging (rather than just how to measure it), psychiatrists’ reports on the positive impact of measures to promote active aging on reducing elderly suicides in Singapore, as well as the relationships between work, social engagement and active aging, and social workers’ comments that active aging is overwhelmingly biased toward the able bodied.

There is a need to study how disabled people view aging as well as active aging. Dr. Bozovic Stamenovic from the NUS Department of Architecture further asserted that physical environment is a determinant for active aging and called for a "total living environment" that presents not just healthy but also healing spaces to benefit the elderly.  The meeting suggested potential areas for further multidisciplinary research on active aging.

Conference program and presentation materials from the conference can be downloaded from


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