Stay Young Navigators is a community based program that trains active agers to help their peers manage their health by serving as liaisons for health services, community resources, and financial assistance programs.
One in seven Singaporeans is over sixty five years of age. This figure is expected to double in the next fifteen years. The rapidly growing number of older Singaporeans, combined with a high prevalence of chronic diseases, is likely to place significant demands on the healthcare system of Singapore. Various government, healthcare, and social service organizations offer health promotion programs and other resources to encourage older Singaporeans to stay healthy and active. Many older adults, however, do not enroll in these programs and services despite the potential health benefits.
To bridge this gap, ACCESS Health Singapore will partner with the Alexandra Health System and Duke-NUS to pilot the Stay Young Navigators program over the next two years. We will develop a training curriculum to equip future navigators with strong knowledge and skills in chronic disease management and patient navigation. The trained navigators will then build personal relationships with hard to reach chronically ill elderly in their own communities and motivate them to practice healthy behaviors and take advantage of preventative services. Navigators will also serve as a direct link in coordinating care between the elderly, caregivers, healthcare teams, and social service providers.
Upon completion of the pilot program, we will evaluate Stay Young Navigators to assess its feasibility and efficacy. The pilot program aims to increase primary care follow ups, boost participation in community programs, and improve patient knowledge and management of chronic conditions. If the program is successful, we aim to expand Stay Young Navigators to other regions in Singapore and beyond.
The program was originally conceptualized by Dr. Michelle Thai at St. Jude Medical Center in the US. The program is an adaptation of the Community Health Worker model.