Lonely and socially-isolated elderly living in Geylang East can now relive their kampong days at MWS Senior Activity Centre (SAC)–GreenTops@Sims Place.
GreenTops SAC is located at Sims Place, which was known as Sar Kong Village, one of the many villages that sprang up along the Kallang River in the early days of Singapore.
Today, the area is one of Singapore’s oldest HDB housing estates, and home to a large ageing population. GreenTops SAC is going the extra mile to revive the caring and multi-cultural kampong spirit these senior citizens grew up with. The centre reaches out especially to those living alone in HDB studio apartments.
The staff often do house visits to check on regular members who suddenly stop dropping in. They also help with basic household repairs, bring sick members meals, wheel them to the doctor, or read their bills and letters for them.
Says 70-year-old Alice Tey, an active member who regularly volunteers for tasks like tidying the kitchen and serving beverages: “The staff have helped me with appliance malfunctions at home and taught me how to use apps on the mobile phone. I really feel at home here, and in return, I reach out to new members to make them feel welcome.”
The centre is open to those aged 55 and above, and targets low- to middle-income individuals. Its services and programmes revolve around advocating active ageing, strengthening familial relationships and social networks, building living communities, and providing seniors with opportunities to give back.
It features a gym equipped with state-of-the-art, senior-friendly Hur equipment; a kitchen; a karaoke room that doubles up as a classroom; and social and reading space. An alert alarm system located in the centre enables timely help to seniors residing in the same block.
Programmes are planned on a monthly basis and reflect the diversity of the centre’s members. Daily morning fitness offerings range from Huichun Meridian exercise to Zumba Gold sessions. Recreational classes span cooking, crochet and découpage, while educational workshops cover anything from smartphone know-how to traditional Chinese medicine. There are also health talks, wellness screenings and afternoon tea sessions.
The centre was officially opened on 28 July by Associate Professor Yaacob Ibrahim, Grassroots Associate Advisor and MP for Jalan Besar GRC. Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung was present to dedicate to God the centre and its service to the community. Also in attendance were the Rev Paul Thian, pastor-in-charge, and leaders of Geylang Chinese Methodist Church, which is the centre’s partner church.
By the Methodist Welfare Services Communications Team
Photos courtesy of the Methodist Welfare Services