Encouraging Physical, Mental and Social Well-Being for the Elderly within the Community

Celebrating 45 years of existence, the Senior Citizen’s Club of Perak (Kelab Orang Berida Perak) recently held their first members dinner and dance after a hiatus of 2 years.

“The pandemic hit us hard, we were locked out of our own clubhouse, yet here we are, back in full swing again” said Mr. Soo Ying Chow, President of Senior Citizens Club of Perak in his welcome speech.

The club was established in 1977 to cater to the needs and welfare of retirees and pensioners. It is an apolitical and fair-minded organisation with the objective of promoting fellowship, respect and care for those above the age of 55 in the community. To date, it has over 300 members ranging in age from 50 to 92 years old.

Along with helping to navigate all of the changes that come with growing older, The Senior Citizens Club encourages an active social life with its many excursions and activities offered to its members.

Social engagement is most vital for the elderly’s well-being as they are arguably more susceptible to social isolation than younger people. The Club allows them some freedom to be able to share and connect with others who are in similar situations. It is proven that an active body and mind prevents depression as well as Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.

One of its members, a 87-year-old headmaster from Terengganu, talked of how lonely he was when he first arrived in Ipoh, many decades ago. Today, Mr. Soh gregariously visits the club every other day. “I have so many activities to choose from and have made many friends who have become like family to me. I urge senior citizens in Ipoh who are not yet members, to come and join us, don’t sit at home and be bored or depressed” says Soh enthusiastically.

“We are constantly seeking to grow our membership and invite the community to join us. New members always encourage new ideas and generational changes are necessary in maintaining the club’s relevance,” said Mr. Soo

To potential members, Soo assures “You will be joining as equals; regardless of experience, status or even bank balance. Dignity and fellowship, alongside humility and mutual respect are some of the core pillars of the club”.

Speaking to past president Mr. Richard Tan, who enjoys the fellowship of the club and appreciates people of like minds coming together. “My wife and I are very fortunate for this club, it allows us to come out and share, make new friends and most importantly have a sense of belonging within the community,” said Tan.

It was wonderful to see the comradeship especially during the performance of about 25 robust ladies in their 60’s and above, waltzing to Engelbert Humperdinck’s – ‘Last Waltz’. Every attendee joined in by clapping and singing to this old but gold classic. They were all in their element and happy.

Activities such as language classes, line and ballroom dancing, Zumba, karaoke, table tennis, morning walks and indoor games are held at the club premises located at No. 2 & 2A, Lintasan Perajurit 11B, Ipoh Garden East, Ipoh.

Every Wednesday – a singalong session with the club band, ‘The Merry Makers’ is held around noon time. The club organises local and overseas trips from time to time too.

Those below the age of 55 are welcomed to join the club as associate members. Interested readers can contact the club at 05 547 0387 for details.

by Anne Das

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