CommunityLIFESTYLE

Ageing Well During the Pandemic

Bagan Specialist Center, a hospital based in Penang has been serving the community since 1988, coordinated ‘Jom Sembang’, a virtual sharing session with the sole focus on the experiences of ageing community during the pandemic. 

Officiated by YB Phee Boon Poh, Penang State Exco member, Environment Welfare Committee Chairman, the session was aimed to provide a platform for the elderly to share their experiences as well as to navigate their lives during this challenging pandemic.

The session was attended by seniors from around Malaysia including Malacca, Ipoh and Penang. 

The committee chairman explained that communication is the foundation in the construction of networking. One of the challenges in society is the ageing community. It is essential for senior citizens to set up affirmative action by coming forward and engaging in programs like today and empower as well as support each other rather than taking a passive role. 

“We as elderly must model ourselves as a positive experienced member of society to overcome the gloom and doom of the pandemic. 

“We should provide opportunities for personal development community participation so that they can continue to find purpose in senior life. We want to empower them to contribute their knowledge to the society,” he expressed. 

We must wonder how the seniors are coping with this pandemic. Just like any of us, they have been spending time on their leisure pursuits. For instance, restarting playing an instrument, writing and exercising.

Lily Fu, Founder of Seniors Aloud highlighted that there are ways to stay on track at home by keeping oneself occupied and activating positive thoughts. 

“As a senior myself, I spend my morning exercising before breakfast. It doesn’t take much time and all you need is some basic home exercise equipment like a yoga mat, dumbbells and a resistance band,” she said.

Another senior who shared her experience was Josephine, chairperson of AgapeCARE. The non-profit social organisation has been around for 14 years with the aim to serve people of all ages from education to food aid schemes through different programs. After retiring from the corporate world, she became a social worker and an entrepreneur who has also been actively involved in helping the underserved community, especially single mothers.

“I wasn’t encouraged to go out due to my chronic illnesses. My husband has taken on the role to cook and do groceries. Instead of being a medical specialist, he has now become a pasta and fried noodle specialist.

“He is now very well familiar with food items, such as the spices, vegetables and fish. In the span of one year, he has become domesticated whilst for me, I’ve upskilled my knowledge on technology. We have learned to embrace the changes as well as adapted to the new circumstances,” she shared.

For more info, do contact Dr Cecilia Chan, Eldercare coordinator at 013-4384388. Check out the full sharing session at https://www.facebook.com/BaganSpecialistCentre/videos/892487688254930/ 

Gisele Soo

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