Several studies have linked a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of physical activity with increased risk for chronic diseases. It’s thus important to encourage ageing adults to avoid long periods of staying in their house; they should exercise more or engage in any other activities that can help them stay active and move their bodies, like walking.
How Older Adults Benefit from Community Centres
Community centres were built in different areas, reflecting the government’s effort to revive old town centres and meet people’s need for a public space to foster a sense of community. It’s also an answer to the dominance of privatized shopping centres in town centres.
True enough, community centres were able to bring positive change to the communities they serve, providing a safe and inclusive environment while encouraging them to live healthily. Here are some of the benefits that community centres bring, especially to the elderly:
Form New Bonds and Stay Connected
Community centres serve as a safe space for people to come together and form groups with people of the same interests. Such groups may include book clubs for those who enjoy reading books and would want to discuss their thoughts with other members or walking groups for those who want to stay fit through walking. Events hosted and organised in community centres also allow people to intermingle.
Similarly, a Singapore senior group home is also a great place for your elderly loved one to enjoy the benefits of making friends with other seniors while getting the support they need for a comfortable daily life. This is a good alternative for seniors who prefer social services and independence in a home-like atmosphere, in contrast to nursing homes Singapore which are more institutionalised and centred on medical care.
Stay Active and Promote Well-Being
Community centres also help promote active ageing in elderly Singaporeans. It’s in community centres where the Senior Citizens’ Executive Committees (SCECs) hold the programmes they organise, which range from cooking to arts and crafts, whichever the seniors are interested in. The activities organised are also following the People’s Association’s Live Well, Age Well programme that aims to maintain the elderly’s physical, social, and mental well-being, operating across the six-well domains:
- Live Active: This domain encourages seniors to keep moving to meet their recommended physical activity levels through regular group exercises.
- Live Enriched: Through this domain, seniors enrich their knowledge on improving and maintaining their overall health.
- Live Nourished: This domain encourages seniors to eat a healthy and balanced diet, focusing on the nutrients they need the most, such as protein and calcium.
- Live Assured: This domain encourages seniors to observe preventive measures in taking care of their bodies, such as health screenings and follow-ups.
- Live Happily: This domain gives seniors the proper education on the importance of maintaining good social and mental health, encouraging them to remain socially connected.
- Live Prepared: This domain educates seniors on ways to stay independent and fulfilled even after retirement.
Fun Activities that Senior Citizens Can Do In Community Centres
Activities in community centres enable the elderly to achieve and maintain holistic well-being. They allow these participants to form and join groups, continue staying active, and discover a new hobby that interests them and can contribute to their lifelong learning. They may also go on mini field trips to better appreciate the learnings acquired in these activities.
Here’s a list of the many activities that seniors can enjoy in community centres:
Martial arts are great ways to maintain an active lifestyle while continuously forming bonds with friends. Here are some martial arts suitable for seniors and which they can enjoy:
1) Tai Chi for Health
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that features gentle movements and physical posture and is perfect for seniors who would like to address pain from common age-associated ailments like arthritis and osteoporosis.
Wushu is an exhibition sport that originated in China. It’s suitable for seniors who would like to engage in a more structured activity. Through this martial art, seniors can gain new skills, such as basic self-defence, and strengthen their physique at the same time.
3) Muay Thai
Muay Thai is a combat sport typically performed in professional fighting circuits and requires the movement of all parts of the body, particularly the elbows and knees. It’s still a perfect activity for seniors despite its physically demanding nature, as long as it’s done in low-impact and guided environments.
Wellness activities help seniors relieve stress and invigorate their physical and spiritual well-being. Here are some of the wellness activities in community centres that seniors can engage in:
Qigong is a form of gentle exercise that was a part of traditional Chinese medicine. It’s an activity that encourages relaxation through gentle and fluid bodily movements, mind regulation, and controlled breathing techniques. It’s known to reduce bodily pain.
2) Yoga Exercise for Seniors
Yoga is a form of meditative exercise perfect for seniors seeking relaxation and alleviating their body pains. Yoga training programmes tailored for seniors are available, which help seniors, even those without a background in yoga, to try out different techniques and poses.
3) Dance Classes
Zumba is a Latin dance routine-inspired activity that can get seniors moving, enjoying each dance step to the beat of the music they follow as a group. It’s a good cardio programme perfect for thrill-seeking seniors who want to spice their fitness routine in a party-like way.
Another good dance class in a group setting is the line dance, where group members follow dance steps in a line or row. The dance steps are fairly easy to follow, but they definitely will help seniors to stay active and enjoy the activity with their peers. Popular music in line dance includes Macarena and Electric Slide.
Arts and Recreation
Seniors can unleash their creativity through arts and recreation activities, which also helps them keep their minds sharp and healthy. Here are some of the fun arts and recreation activities that community centres may organise for seniors:
1) Recreational Karaoke Singing
Seniors can sing their hearts out with different goals in mind. Some may opt to hone their singing skills by enrolling in vocal lessons. Some may opt to enjoy singing and see it as a way to socialise with friends and have fun.
2) Chinese Calligraphy
Chinese calligraphy is a great art to be appreciated and enjoyed. It’s a great new skill and hobby to pick up, where seniors can refine their fine motor skills by learning basic brush handling and writing techniques.
3) Chinese Ink Painting
Another enjoyable activity to pursue is Chinese ink painting, a traditional art style that uses washes of black ink to portray different images in a sophisticated manner. In classes teaching this art style, seniors may learn different brush techniques and understand the importance of the different tools and pigments used.
4) Oil Painting
Oil painting is another good way to let seniors express themselves through art. Teachers of the course may guide students on different techniques and materials used in this art style.
5) Ceramic Art
Pottery or making ceramic art is a good way to pass the time while letting your imagination flow. In these classes, seniors can learn the different clays used and the different techniques in moulding them, such as coiling and slab building.
Enrolling in a cooking course is a great way for seniors to keep moving and learn something new. It’s also beneficial to their family members who’ll get to taste the fruits of the new skills they acquired. Here are some of the cooking courses that the elderly may join:
- Vegetarian Cooking
- International Cuisine Workshops
- Dim Sum Making
The People’s Association encourage people of all ages to get involved and give back to their community. Such volunteer opportunities include connecting the community through organising programmes like senior social activities, promoting bonds between family and multiple cultures, and reaching out and providing aid to those who need them.
A community centre is a brilliant urban development solution that brings many benefits to every age group, most especially older adults. It’s a place where many seniors can make new friends, learn new skills, and develop new hobbies. Through its many programmes, it helps maintain a community of healthy and happy seniors.
In addition to community centres that maintain the older adults’ good physical, social, and mental health, it’s also important that your elderly loved ones retire in comfortable and safe living environments, such as the high-quality Singapore elderly studio apartments offered by Retire Genie. Contact us here today to learn more about our services.