Initiatives to promote healthy ageing for seniors showcased in Queenstown

(From left) Senior Parliamentary Secretary Eric Chua, Senior Minister of State Tan Kiat How and Senior Parliamentary Secretary Rahayu Mahzam watching as a resident tries floor curling at a showcase in Queenstown on July 9, 2022. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - From senior-friendly gyms to fitness trails, Queenstown residents can look forward to initiatives targeted at helping them lead healthier and more active lifestyles.

A showcase exhibiting these initiatives, aimed at promoting healthy ageing as a community, opened on Saturday (July 9) in Stirling Road. The public can provide feedback through the showcase, which runs until July 11.

One such initiative the seniors can preview is a fitness trail along Mei Ling Street, which is slated for launch next year.

It will feature equipment to improve strength, mobility and balance, with information on health and fitness resources put up in various languages on totem boards along the trail.

Seniors can also look forward to a strength training programme called Gym Tonic, which will tap exercise machines specially designed for older residents.

The showcase is organised by the Housing Board (HDB), with participation from various stakeholders.

Queenstown, which is Singapore's first and oldest satellite town, was carved out as a health district by various stakeholders - including the HDB, National University Health System and National University of Singapore - last year in a pilot programme to support residents to lead healthier and more productive lives.

It currently has one of the oldest populations here, with almost one out of every four residents aged 65 and above.

Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How, who toured the showcase on Saturday, said: "Singaporeans are living longer, and as we live a longer lifespan, we want many of our seniors to live as much of it healthily, happily and independently."

He noted that it is important to bring care facilities and services closer to where seniors live, adding: "The health district at Queenstown will marry the elements of the built environment, new care approaches, technological innovations to try out new ideas and experiment with them."

Ms Rahayu Mahzam, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health, who was also at the showcase, said this is a good opportunity to look at the efforts put in place to encourage residents to be more active.

She added: "In the future, if these strategies are successful and if they are helpful, we could potentially look at expanding them to other areas."

Queenstown resident Saliha Abubakar, 64, said she appreciates that the showcase gives her a platform to provide input on initiatives that she hopes will encourage more seniors to be active.

The part-time cleaner added: "I exercise regularly with my sister and brother-in-law, so I am excited for what is to come in Queenstown. As a senior, health should be a priority and I feel happy we are well taken care of in this aspect."

Mr Henry Chong, 70, another Queenstown resident who exercises daily, applauded the upcoming initiatives.

He said: "There are so many seniors living in Queenstown, so this is good for all of us. Maybe more seniors can benefit from this when they expand these initiatives to other parts of Singapore."

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