The New Project to Elevate the Quality of Life of the Elderly in Bangkok

Bangkok is now a full-fledged ageing society, as the city has become the area with the highest number of aged populations in Thailand. It is, therefore, essential for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to prepare economic and medical services, as well as care facilities to be able to provide more inclusive and effective care for elderly people, leading to the construction project of Bueng Sakae Ngam Elderly Home.

At present, the BMA has run an old age home called Ban Bang Khae II home, located in Bang Khae District. However, it can accommodate only 140 persons, while there are over 1 million elderly people living in Bangkok. Pol.Gen. Aswin Kwanmuang, Governor of Bangkok, has assigned the BMA organisations to work together in finding spots for additional old age homes to cover every corner of Bangkok. Fortunately, the BMA has gained a support from charitable persons who donated a 32-rai land located at Bueng Sakae Ngam, Khlong Sam Wa District, which is the most suitable location for the project. Hence, the Governor of Bangkok assigned the BMA Public Works Department to design the Bueng Sakae Ngam Elderly Home Project in which, presently, the initial design has been completed.

As for the conceptual idea for the design and planning of project, the project area is divided into 3 zones: the public zone comprising Public Health Center building and parking lot; the semi-public zone comprising administrative building, vocational training building, food center building, health park, physical therapy and aquatic therapy building; and the accommodation zone comprising houses, service and residential buildings for officers, and activity building. Houses in the accommodation zone has been designed and categorized into 2 types. Type A house can accommodate up to 8 people. Each house has 2 large bedrooms (4 persons per one bedroom with one toilet). Type B house can accommodate up to 14 people. Each house is divided into 7 large bedrooms (2 persons per one bedroom with one toilet). Both types of houses will be equipped with beds, wardrobes, tables, chairs, air conditioners, and handrails for the elderly bathrooms.

The first phase of construction will focus on overall landscaping works, construction of food center building to be used temporarily as canteen, as well as administrative and vocational training buildings, construction of Type A houses, construction of dykes and moats around the project area, pool digging, road pavement toward the project area, growing trees as a project area fence; and installation of lighting and sanitary system.

For the second phase, it is planned for the construction of additional Type A houses, Type B houses, activity building, service and residential buildings for officers, administrative building, vocational training building, physical therapy and aquatic therapy building, and Public Health Center building. The last phase of construction will be landscape improvement and construction of parking lot.

It is expected that the first phase will be completed in 2022. Shortly after that, the BMA will accelerate the construction of the second phase. The budget for this project mainly comes from BMA and donations. The BMA believes that it will receive supports from both public and private sectors just like previous social service projects that have already been successful.

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