New toolkit to track seniors' well-being

Council for Third Age assistant manager Claire Tan (far right) demonstrating to participants how to use the Positive Ageing Toolkit at the agency's first positive ageing conference yesterday.
Council for Third Age assistant manager Claire Tan (far right) demonstrating to participants how to use the Positive Ageing Toolkit at the agency's first positive ageing conference yesterday.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Retirees can use it to evaluate their wellness and get information on skills programmes

From next week, retirees can pick up a self-assessment package to track their progress in improving their well-being.

Called the Positive Ageing Toolkit, it contains questionnaires to evaluate their wellness, and charts to show if they are making progress in aspects of their life, including the physical and emotional.

Launched by the Council for Third Age (C3A), an independent organisation that promotes active ageing, it also contains information on where retirees can go to look for programmes in areas including IT, health and finance.

Yesterday, some 500 "third agers", or active retirees, received the toolkit at C3A's first positive ageing conference. From the end of this week, the toolkit will be available online at C3A's portal.

From next Wednesday, members of the public can also get them from some of the agency's partners, including Fei Yue Community Services, Yah! Community College and RSVP Singapore.

"I think many of us do not really know what (areas) we are weak in, unless we make a deliberate effort to (find out)," said Ms Soh Swee Ping, chief executive officer of C3A. "We want to encourage positive ageing by providing individuals with the tools to chart their self-discovery journey."

The launch of the toolkit complements the Government's action plan for successful ageing, said Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health, at the conference yesterday. Part of the action plan involves creating opportunities for people of all ages, and this includes lifelong learning, she said. "Many people may have this mindset about ageing, that it is a period of decline," she said. "We need to change that to a more positive mindset."

Seniors have much to give back to society, with their experience. With increased life expectancy, people should plan ahead and consider how to age meaningfully, she said.

The toolkit was welcomed by retirees like Ms Daisy Chee, 79, who tries to stay active and physically and mentally alert.

"I was prepared. Before I retired, I was already active. I had so many things I looked forward to doing, like going fishing more often than before," she said.

"Ageing is a process which we cannot avoid," said Mr Gerald Ramasamy Mahalingam, 75, who plans to use the toolkit. "With a positive attitude and constructive mindset, you go through that process, ageing gracefully, with dignity."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2015, with the headline 'New toolkit to track seniors' well-being'. Print Edition | Subscribe