Growing Old with Dignity22 July 2015
“I really like it here,” said Madam Cheong Sek Chew, 74, as she looked around NTUC Health Day Centre for Seniors (Jurong Central) (previously known as Silver Circle). Her friends have just had their tea in the dining area, and while some were getting excited cheering on one of the centre’s staff who had taken up the karaoke microphone to serenade them, others had begun moving out of the dining area to the next room for their afternoon activity.
The atmosphere at the centre is one of joy and warmth – just like old friends gathering together to while the day away happily. Some of the senior citizens, like Mdm Cheong, are mobile and independent. Others have dementia and need special care from the staff. There are still others who are lucid but less mobile, and need help to move around. However, one thing is certain – there is a marked spirit of cheer and camaraderie among the elderly and the staff at the centre as they happily engage themselves in one activity after another.
Here, Mdm Cheong finds fulfilment. Her day at the centre is activity-packed, starting with a session of Tai Chi first thing in the morning to help her exercise her limbs and keep healthy, followed by a series of other activities to allow her to enjoy the interaction with her peers. This is a welcome change from the days before she joined the centre. Then, she had little to occupy herself. “My three children work and I had to spend weekdays on my own, she said.
“Now, I am able to make friends and chat with people my age. The staff are also very helpful and good to us. Of course, I’m happy here,” she said.
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