Two seniors centres in Fengshan to engage the elderly

Seniors playing the Finding 114 memory game at THK Seniors Activity Centre @ Fengshan 114.
Seniors playing the Finding 114 memory game at THK Seniors Activity Centre @ Fengshan 114.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Every morning, 72-year-old Mok Chou Yong would head to the Thye Hua Kwan (THK) Seniors Activity Centre near his home in Bedok North Street 2 to kick-start his day with a round or two of Rummy-O, a tile-based game similar to mahjong, with his friends.

The retiree, who is unmarried, would stay there till 5pm, to read the newspaper or watch television.

Before the centre was built last October, Mr Mok, who used to do repair work, spent most of his time alone in his two-room rental flat in Block 113 where he has lived for the past 10 years.

"Last time, it was boring," he said. "I stayed at home and watched TV most of the time. Now, I have some excitement in my life when I play Rummy-O. Time passes by faster."

Another centre, at Block 101, was also set up last October.

Both were officially opened yesterday, bringing the total of such centres to 17 islandwide.

Helmed by THK Moral Charities, the centres conduct daily activities such as board games, craft sessions and physiotherapy exercises to keep the elderly - especially those living in rental blocks - physically and mentally active.

The Fengshan facilities currently serve more than 300 elderly people who live in rental flats nearby, and draw in 40 to 50 seniors to each centre daily.

Fengshan MP Cheryl Chan, who was at the two centres yesterday, said: "We have seniors living in rental blocks who are vulnerable, who live alone and don't have a big network. That's why we are bringing these resources to them."

There are more than 1,000 seniors over the age of 80 in the area, Ms Chan added.

Ten THK Seniors Activity Centres, including one in Fengshan, provide for the elderly's healthcare needs by bringing in SingHealth community nurses every fortnight to advise them on chronic disease management, self-care and how to monitor their medicine intake.

The Government has also opened five Active Ageing Hubs which offer rehabilitative care and social programmes for residents; five more will be ready by next year.

One in eight Singaporeans were classified as seniors (65 and above) in 2015. This is projected to increase to 25 per cent of the population by 2030.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2019, with the headline 'Two seniors centres in Fengshan to engage the elderly'. Print Edition | Subscribe