Forum: Seniors have much to offer as volunteers

The Straits Times' editorial which touched on volunteerism and helping seniors with their retirement needs is timely (Volunteerism can only ripen with age, Feb 2).

Seniors are priceless repositories of information and experience in their respective fields.

Singaporeans are known to be conscientious workers, and many spent decades honing their skills in a particular specialisation. It would be a great loss to Singapore if its seniors were not given opportunities to impart their knowledge and experiences to the next generation.

As an example, consider a nurse who has spent decades working in a specific medical field. Given the opportunity, she would gladly share her life-saving experiences with young nurses.

Granted, medical know-how changes rapidly and a retired nurse may not have much to offer in terms of clinical education. However, certain qualities, such as clinical acumen, communication, kindness and empathy, remain immutable.

Furthermore, these are practical experiences, not textbook information.

Volunteerism in seniors will also benefit the seniors themselves. Being engaged in meaningful contributions that make a difference will raise seniors' self-esteem, and alleviate the loneliness that inevitably comes with ageing.

I hope the Government will take the lead in creating and publicising opportunities for seniors to continue to play a part in contributing to society.

Lau Wai Leong