SINGAPORE - At this active ageing hub, senior citizens can not only interact with their peers, but also learn new skills such as performing first aid and attending educational courses conducted by professionals at highly subsidised rates.
The daycare centre, Sheng Hong Active Ageing Hub @ Sennett, aims to cater to lower-income senior citizens with programmes and activities priced at a subsidised monthly fee of $32.
The centre, which began operations at the end of 2019, was officially opened on Wednesday at a ceremony in MacPherson.
Senior citizens aged 50 and above can benefit from four facilities in the hub – centres for daycare, day rehabilitation, active ageing and Lifepoint, where seniors can start their end-of-life planning and enrol in National Silver Academy courses to hone their life skills.
The daycare centre, which can hold 60 clients, facilitates social interactions among peers, and various activities such as opera, art therapy and outings.
The rehabilitation centre, which can accommodate 10 clients at a time, provides physiotherapy and occupational therapy, mainly for seniors with dementia and stroke, and those who require recovery from such illnesses. Each session is priced at $1, along with the monthly base fee.
The active ageing centre, which has space for 60 clients, has programmes where seniors can take part in local tours, educational courses, health talks, gardening and dancing. Seniors can also learn how to perform first aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Society of Sheng Hong Welfare Services president Adrian Long said the educational programmes have also taught seniors how to use certain apps on their mobile phones. “Since Covid-19, there have been some important apps that everyone in Singapore needs to learn how to use, such as TraceTogether and Singpass,” he added.
The hub, which has 780 registered clients, occupies 1,030 sq m (about one-sixth the size of a football field) and is able to accommodate up to 120 clients per day.
Most of its clients live near the hub, but those who live farther away are eligible for a two-way transportation service, which is covered by the monthly fee.
Mr Long said: “We wanted the centre to be spacious, as one common complaint among seniors is that most centres are small with low ceilings, which makes them feel claustrophobic.”
He added: “We also strongly believe that being in a good environment plays an important role mentally.”
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, the guest of honour at the opening ceremony, said in a speech in Mandarin: “The most important point regarding our ageing population is to ensure that we continue developing our medical services and systems.”
He added that everyone, as a community, should take care of one another.
Also in attendance were MP for Potong Pasir Sitoh Yih Pin and MP for MacPherson Tin Pei Ling.