Lions Befrienders’ new personalized tablet could serve as a senior’s best friend

SINGAPORE – He has three radio sets at home.

But since Mr. Wee Sang Son, 81, received his personalized tablet two months ago, he hardly uses them anymore.

He now listens to the radio on the tablet.

The i-Boleh tablet, the latest initiative from social service agency Lions Befrienders, acts as a companion for older people, especially those who live alone.

It sends health alerts to remind seniors to take their medications, exercise enough and eat healthily, and also entertains them by showing videos of their choice and broadcasting radio shows.

It is completely personalized according to their needs and preferences.

Funded by the Oscar@sg fund of the Temasek Foundation, Lions Befrienders will distribute 150 sets of i-Boleh tablets to high-risk seniors living in rental apartments.

The agency is also looking to expand the initiative to more seniors in need.

Newer versions of the i-Boleh program are also in progress.

i-Boleh is the updated version of i-ok@LB tablet launched last year.

With the i-ok @ LB tablet, seniors press a button to signal that they are well – once between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., and again between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

For those who do not press the button, Lions Befrienders staff will send them a message or video call via their tablets to ensure their safety.

Speaking to The Straits Times about the new i-Boleh updates when it launched on Thursday April 14, Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Eric Chua, who oversaw the efforts of the Lions Befrienders, said the new version will shift from a monitoring perspective to one of holistic wellness promotion.

In addition to allowing seniors to see the staff of Lions Befrienders, the tablet also offers educational games that help improve the cognitive abilities of seniors and reduce the risk of dementia.

Charles P. Patton