Empowering caregivers and improving elderly welfare the focus for 12th Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation Research Grant Awards

  • Four research grants worth SGD39,080 awarded in Singapore for research into care for the elderly as well as caregivers
  • Total grant value of over SGD440,000 supporting 46 research projects focusing on senior citizen welfare and traffic safety awarded by MSIWF in Singapore since its establishment in the country in 2007
21 Feb 2019

The spotlight was cast on the elderly and their caregivers as the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation (“MSIWF” and the “Foundation”) today announced the award of four grants for research focused on advancing the welfare of the elderly, empowering their caregivers and improving community support for seniors.

Coinciding with the government’s push to boost support for elderly care in Singapore, the 12th MSIWF Research Grant Awards ceremony – held at Equarius Hotel, Sentosa - saw a total of SGD39,080 awarded to four separate researchers for their work in developing a device to help seniors with dysphagia (swallowing impairment) and their caregivers, building a dementia-friendly community, optimising cancer care for elderly patients, and identifying the role of muscle stem cells in sarcopenia (age-related muscle wasting).

The four research grant awardees were chosen out of a total of 205 applications received from across Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan, following a rigorous selection process based on the originality, practicality and social significance of the research project.

The awardees are:

  • Ms Ang Xing Yee Amberyce, PhD (Gerontology) Student at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), or her research on community support for dementia care in Singapore. With inputs from caregivers and professionals caring for People with Dementia (PWD), the study aims to understand and propose recommendations on how the community can be effectively integrated to provide support for PWDs.
  • Ms Elisa Marie Crombie, Graduate Student at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), for her research into understanding the role of muscle stem cells in age-related muscle wasting (sarcopenia). 
  • Dr Ravindran Kanesvaran, Senior Consultant, Division of Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), for his research into optimising cancer care for elderly patients through the development of a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) Programme.
  • Dr Wong Seng Mun, Principal Speech Therapist at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), for her research into the development of an automatic beverage thickening device for elderly with swallowing impairment (dysphagia), simplifying the preparation of thickened liquids to minimise errors, thereby encouraging independent living for the elderly, and saving time for healthcare workers, elderly patients and their caregivers.

Founded in 1975 by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance in Japan, MSIWF advocates for budding and inter-disciplinary research focused on the growing ageing population and the rising concerns over traffic safety in Asia. The awards marks a special year in which all four selected grant recipients are conducting research projects on senior citizen welfare, reflecting the prominence of the issue of elderly care.

Mr Michael Gourlay, CEO of MSIG Singapore, said: “According to the health ministry, by the year 2030, one in four Singaporeans will be over the age of 651. This new reality will present fresh challenges to individuals, families and communities, and caregivers to the elderly will play an increasingly important role in society. Through the Foundation, we’re happy to be able to support and advance research in better supporting these caregivers and caring for our rapidly ageing population, as we continue to serve the communities around us.”

This year marks the 12th year of this prestigious grant since its establishment in Singapore. To date, the Foundation has supported a total of 46 projects with a value of over SGD440,000. In total, it has awarded 2,077 grants with a value of over JPY2,384 million (approximately SGD29.7 million) in Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and more recently, Taiwan, since 1975.

1Source: Ministry of Health: https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/moh-leads-review-to-strengthen-caregiver-support-for-seniors

About Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation

Founded in 1975 by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company in Japan, the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation (MSIWF) dedicates itself in supporting two specific fields: senior citizen welfare and traffic safety. These support activities include: 1. Research grants, 2. Awards for practical and academic articles, 3. Grants for dissemination and awareness raising, and 4. Grants for facilities and projects. Research grants have been the core activity since the 1990s and expanded to markets such as Singapore and Thailand, in 2007, and more recently, Taiwan in 2018. Presently, research grants account for 90% of all grants. As of 2018, the Foundation has disbursed a total of 2,077 grants with a combined value of over JPY2,384 million (approximately SGD29.7 million). In Singapore, the grant was introduced in 2007 – the first by MSIWF outside of Japan. Since then, the Foundation has disbursed over SGD440,000 worth of research grants to 46 projects, with a maximum award of SGD10,000 per research grant.

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