Equipping seniors from the Tembusu SAC for the digital age

A joyful senior from Tembusu SAC gives a TSMP volunteer a hug
A 'scammer' tries to obtain personal details from two seniors from Tembusu SAC
TSMP staff demonstrates how to use the self-checkout counter at NTUC Fairprice Xtra
Elders from Tembusu SAC are pleased to have successfully cashlessly paid for their purchases using their NETS Flashpay cards with the help of TSMP staff
TSMP staff teach seniors from Tembusu SAC how to communicate with one another using Whatsapp's group chat feature
TSMP staff stand by to help as a senior from Tembusu SAC scans her purchases at NTUC Fairprice Xtra's self checkout counter

TSMP ran a digital clinic outing at Kallang Wave Mall for 34 seniors on 9 November 2018 to equip them for the digital age.

Leading Singapore boutique law firm TSMP Law Corporation ran a digital clinic outing at Kallang Wave Mall for 34 seniors on 9 November 2018 to equip them for the digital age. The firm partnered with Tembusu Senior Activity Centre (SAC) and South East Community Development Council (CDC) for the event, a strategic charity initiative under TSMP’s Handprint community outreach programme.

With the government’s drive for a cashless society reaching even hawker centres, seniors who grew up using notes and coins may feel daunted by the new technology being implemented. At the same time, news reports of scammers conning the elderly – some losing their entire life savings – are on the rise, both online and offline.

The event aimed to empower seniors by providing them with the skills to confidently navigate an increasingly digital world. 40 staff from TSMP, accompanied by two staff from Tembusu SAC, taught the beneficiaries how to use e-payments, sign up for Wireless@SG, take selfies and wefies with their smartphones and communicate via WhatsApp chat groups.

To demonstrate the perils of modern scams, some TSMPers also took on roles as “conmen”, approaching the unsuspecting seniors while they shopped to persuade them to part with their money in exchange for fake lottery tickets, or divulge their personal details in “official surveys”.

The day began with the elders enjoying a meal at Tembusu SAC, after which they were brought to Kallang Wave Mall. There, with the help of TSMPers, they shopped at the NTUC Fairprice Xtra supermarket using the self-checkout counters, and bought tea and coffee for themselves at the cafes, all while using NETS Flashpay cards that they had been provided with. They also enjoyed electronic games at an arcade before heading back to Tembusu SAC and home with goodie bags.

“As technology marches relentlessly on, people who do not keep abreast of developments run the risk of becoming disconnected from the community around them as well as falling victim to the increasing number of sophisticated online and phone scams. One of the most vulnerable groups is the elderly,” said TSMP partner Ian Lim, who oversees the firm’s Community Programmes.

“We tried to teach the seniors at the Tembusu SAC a little of this, and found ourselves getting schooled in Rummikub and at the arcade at the same time! We’re grateful to Tembusu SAC and South East CDC for giving us an opportunity to interact with the delightful seniors of the Centre in this meaningful way.”

In preparing for this event, TSMP had previously conducted a preliminary get-to-know-you gathering at the Tembusu SAC earlier in the year to understand the seniors’ needs to better tailor the programme for the day to their level of competency.

TSMP lawyers and staff planned and organised the event, providing NETS Flashpay cards and goodie bags, leading groups and handling food and logistics. As part of its outreach programme, TSMP organises and participates in two community charity events a year under its Handprint series, aiming to benefit at-risk children and youth, foreign workers and the elderly.

Tembusu SAC is a community-based elder care facility which serves elderly folks from rental flats, studio units and purchased flats in the Eunos area.  Recognising the South East CDC’s capabilities for social outreach, TSMP tapped into its community network to identify a senior beneficiary group to partner with. As a result, TSMP was able to design a program which addressed a genuine need in the community and directly plugged an existing gap.


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