Singapore

Seniors stay motivated for rehab through boxing, football

When it became clear that many seniors were reluctant to continue with their rehabilitation, a new approach had them taking boxing lessons and playing football to get them excited about getting better.

For 81-year-old Ho Ah Eng, who suffers from an unsteady gait and lower limb injury, the boxing lessons he received once a week helped improve his balance and strength.

It has become his favourite activity in the Telok Blangah Senior Care Centre, located at Block 92 Telok Blangah Street 31.

"It is definitely more interesting, and I feel I have learnt a new sport and skill too," said Mr Ho, who has been going there every day since May, when he joined the centre.

Eldercare provider Active Global Home & Community Care officially launched the centre and an active ageing hub located next door yesterday.

At the centre, activities are designed to complement the seniors' core physiotherapy programme.

The centre introduced the activities in August after learning that seniors were finding the rehabilitation exercises dreary and repetitive.

"Usually people are very reluctant because each time they have rehab, it reminds them of that bad news," said Ms Yorelle Kalika, 44, founder and chief executive of the eldercare provider.

Since opening in January this year, more than 137 senior citizens have registered with the centre, which is equipped with a games room, karaoke room and nature lounge.

It also features a quiet sensory room specially designed to help dementia patients calm down.

The adjacent active ageing hub offers other seniors in the neighbourhood free access to its gym, pantry and social space, which hosts daily workshops and discussions facilitated by volunteers.

The centre places a strong emphasis on being widely accessible to seniors and caregivers, opening its doors seven days a week and on public holidays.

Active Global Caregivers said its services, which can be covered by Medifund, are also made more affordable with government subsidies of up to 80 per cent.

COMMUNITY ISSUES