KUCHING: Malaysia’s ever-aging population and increasing numbers give rise to one question: How will retirees manage to live by their own when the time comes?
Such was the notion that gave way to Eden on the Park, a pilot integrated retirement resort that comes with luxury apartments, villas and aged-care facilities.
Eden-on-the-Park is the first Integrated Senior Lifestyle and Care Residence Resort facility in Malaysia.
It is the leading Integrated Senior Lifestyle brand developed on the 3R concept – Rest, Recreation and Rejuvenation and built around the 5S principles of Security, Safety, Support, Service and Sustainability.
The Integrated Senior Lifestyle and Care Residence Resort are based on proven models in Australian and New Zealand.
The facilities are designed to be age-friendly with amenities to encourage community living and social interaction for the active and healthy while also providing specialist nursing care for those who need it in an adjacent property within the same neighbourhood.
The resort is going to be built by Sarawak Construction (1963) Sdn Bhd while aged-care facilities will be provided by Optimum-Eden Healthcare Sdn Bhd as a joint venture between Australia’s Melbourne-based Optimum Aged Care Systems and Eden on the Park.
Project managing director Victor Fong told The Borneo Post that due to demographic changes and increasing mobility, social norms have changed in such a way that an increasing amount of those above 50 years old experience the ‘empty nest’ syndrome.
“Unlike the West, not only do we have to consider the taboo of a retirement home, ours is not a welfare system as the case with Australia or New Zealand.
Sustainability of such facilities is a question.
“As more parents find themselves having to live alone – devoid of the care and support of the enlarged family – the need for such facilities for the elderly has become more acute.
“We plan to revisit and re-address this cultural norm by studying what is available in more modern societies and adapting it to suit the cultural practises and non-welfare regime of our country,” said Fong.
Eden on the Park sits on a 3.24 hectare (eight-acre) site about 10 minutes away from the Kuching International Airport.
It is a two-minute drive from the Sarawak General Hospital Specialist Centre and 10-minute walk from the Sarawak Club Golf Resort.
The project boasts of 104 luxury apartments with 14 units of exclusive single storey villas for active senior living.
A separate care residence is also available with 72 suite rooms with a capacity of 143 beds for assisted living and acute care.
Fong further enthused that correct branding is vital to alter existing mind-sets and kick-start the industry locally, hence introducing the ‘3R’ concept of ‘Rest-Recreation-Rejuvenation’ for the project.
“We believe that state-of-the-art security systems and a design which is ‘aged’ friendly, easily accessible and able to respond to emergency situation is key.
“Our project will not only provide social support, but also have in place programs to encourage interaction and activity participation.
Residents have the freedom of being as active or inactive as they want to be.
“Cleaning and maintenance service is optional to allow for dispensing with the need for domestic helpers while the unique care and on-line medical record keeping systems allow residents the peace of mind that care is readily accessible if required,” he added.
Meanwhile, company chairman John Chin observed that thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, most people now live a relatively long life and are experiencing that savings alone is not enough to sustain them for the rest of their lives.
“Eden on the Park’s unique financial architecture helps to address this issue as it enables the residents a carefree existence without the worry of long term maintenance commitments,” Chin highlighted.
“The physical design also allows for downsizing and the flexibility of subletting part of the unit, if necessary.” The site itself has a four acre reforested tropical rain forest with jogging tracks, an aesthetic lake, hobbyist garden, outdoor art studio and facilities designed to international standards in compliance with the Malaysian Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act.
“To add on to age-care facilities, Eden on the Park is also setting up the Eden Training Academy to train care givers for the community. The company is mindful of the fact that there is a shortage of qualified and trained care givers in the community capable of looking after not just senior citizens but also people, due to a result of either illness or accidents, end up needing long term care,” said Fong.
Eden-on-the-Park is the Entry Point Project 17 (EPP17) for retirement village category under the National Key Economic Area (NKEA) Healthcare Sector and is keen to explore possibilities with potential partners to develop the senior lifestyle and aged care industry locally and within the Asian region.
For more information, please contact Eden-on-the-Park at 082-335322.