New inter-generational lifestyle club encourages seniors to have fun with family while exercising

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The heritage gallery at Jade Circle Arena. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Twice a week, Mr Johnnie Wee, 88, goes to the gym at The Salvation Army Peacehaven Nursing Home in Changi for a strength-training programme.

Now, he will be able to take his children and grandchildren along.

All will be able to enjoy the new facilities at Jade Circle Arena, a lifestyle club targeted at inter-generational bonding and fun, located in the Peacehaven compound.

The club opened to the public on Saturday (Nov 16), and Mr Wee and his wife Emelie, 78, were able to tour the two floors and check out what they liked.

There is a wading pool where the elderly can do hydrotherapy, while children can enjoy the water. There is also an arcade area with a basketball machine, and where one can play whack-a-mole, foosball and mini bowling.

There are hand-cycling machines hooked up to television screens so users can feel as if they are cycling outdoors, as well as virtual reality machines that allow for interactive games or sensory experiences.

These activities are meant to be a part of purposeful play, to encourage the elderly to move or exercise while having fun.

The centre will be open daily from 10am to 8pm, with last entry at 7pm. It will close on public holidays.

Children aged 12 and below can enter for free till Dec 22, while adults pay $10 per entry. Those from Peacehaven Nursing Home can also enter for free.

Instructors demonstrating uses of the wading pool for the young and old at Jade Circle Arena on Nov 16, 2019. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Mr Wee and his wife plan to bring their family to the club. Mrs Wee said: "We will definitely bring the kids here as they will love it!"

The couple have three grandchildren, aged 8, 12 and 16.

As Mr Wee is part of the strength-training programme at the gym, he will automatically become a Jade Circle Arena member as well.

From 2020, the club plans to have a membership programme priced at $60 a month for unlimited entry, and will allow members to earn points in exchange for rewards such as food, a spa treatment, or waivers of membership fees.

The arcade area with a basketball machine, and where one can play whack-a-mole, foosball and mini bowling. ST PHOTO: KELVIN LIM

A health centre section where senior citizens can get check-ups or be assessed for health issues will open in the first quarter of next year.

Peacehaven executive director Low Mui Lang said that the intention of the club is to give the elderly a sense of life and identity, and convert routine activities into something fun.

She added: "I believe in inter-generational interaction between the young and the old, and children bring laughter to older adults."

The club is part of Jade Circle, an initiative by Lien Foundation, Khoo Chwee Neo Foundation and the nursing home.

The building where the club is located will also have a residential care facility and a dementia care training centre, both under Jade Circle, by May next year.

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