Programme launched to help frail senior citizens maintain mental and physical health

ST VIDEO: FELICIA CHOO

SINGAPORE - Marching on the spot while playing memory games at the Choa Chu Kang Fei Yue Retirees Centre on Wednesday (Aug 23), a group of seniors were participating in a programme designed to help them maintain their mental and physical health.

Called the Healthy Ageing Promotion Programme For You (Happy) programme, it was launched at the centre at the start of August.

It is targeted at pre-frail elderly aged 60 years and above, who may display symptoms such as diminished strength, endurance and physiological functions, said Associate Professor Reshma Merchant at a briefing on Wednesday.

Frailty is characterised by a person losing strength, endurance and physiological function. A frail person is also more prone to falls, hospitalisation, disability and death, as well as having memory problems.

A study of 1,051 elderly here by Prof Reshma, who is the division head of geriatric medicine at the National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, found that 6.2 per cent of them were frail, and 37 per cent of them were pre-frail.

The Happy programme features dual-task exercises which combine physical and mental activities, and is currently held twice weekly at the centre.