Isolation of the Elderly
Old age comes with the challenge of isolation, loneliness and depression. Singapore is one of the most rapidly aging countries and Asia and has to place more importance on the predicament of the elderly. The number of elderly households in Singapore is increasing because of the pervasiveness of smaller families and the growing trend of more people to stay single.
Isolation, which could lead to depression, is often related to other health issues, such as senile dementia and limited mobilities. There is also a high predominance of suicide mortality among Singapore’s elderly. Therefore it is important for the elderly to have interaction and emotional support to tackle isolation which leads to other health and emotional issues.
Stigma against Skin Conditions
Skin conditions such as Acne, Eczema and Psoriasis have become more prominent in Singapore, especially due to the tropical climate in this country. Lack of awareness from the public lead to misunderstandings that these skin conditions are contagious, and people with skin conditions can be shunned upon when in public. This leads to reduced self-esteem, sleep disturbance and loss of concentration at school or work, social withdrawal, and depression. Research has shown that skin diseases can impact a person’s quality of life more significantly than other medical conditions, as it is visible to other people, according to Dr Lynn Chiam, a dermatologist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.
It is thus important to have continuous public education as misconceptions still exists.
Examples of projects highlighting skin conditions
Dove launched its DermaSeries collection – a range of hypoallergenic and fragrance free products for those with dry skin. The ad features women who live with the dry skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.
The ad is successful in showing the skin conditions as they are without beautifying it, and the people in the ads are unashamed, which encourages confidence amongst people with skin conditions.
Loss of Cultural Heritage
Societies have long sought to protect and preserve their cultural heritage, for reasons ranging from education to historical research to the desire to reinforce a sense of identity. Countries in conflict such as Syria face intentional destruction of major and well-known UNESCO heritage sites. Loss of sites of cultural identity, such as religious buildings, schools, libraries fractures places of identity and familiarity, leading to a loss in community. As for Singapore, the constant advancement of the country has left behind some traditions and historical buildings, though there seem to be increasing efforts to preserve them currently.
“What we do lose is a certain consideration for what the human hand can impart (and the idea that) we don’t always need to iron out all the kinks we see in the city. If we accept we have a city that has a bit of a collage feel to it, we can comfortably trace the age. Otherwise, it always feels like you’re creating a clean slate every time there’s redevelopment.”
Extinction of Animals
According to the World Wildlife Fund, species are disappearing at a rate of 1000 to 10000 times more than the Earth’s natural extinction rate. This could amount to losing hundreds or even thousands of species each year. Earth’s 6th mass extinction is underway, and unlike the previous 5 which were caused by natural climate changes, this mass extinction is caused by human activities such as deforestation, overpopulation, pollution, poaching and extreme weather events tied to man-caused global warning. Mammals of Southeast and South Asia are particularly hard hit, with mammals losing more than 80% of their geographic ranges. The resulting biological annihilation obviously will have serious ecological, economic and social consequences, and requires attention and preservation efforts.
“The massive loss of populations and species reflects our lack of empathy to all the wild species that have been our companions since our origins”