THE METHODIST WELFARE SERVICES (MWS), in partnership with Wesley Methodist Church, will be setting up a new Seniors Activity Centre (SAC) at Block 25 in Jalan Berseh, occupying a shop house unit and a residents’ corner.
Called the Wesley Seniors Activity Centre, this centre aims to improve the overall quality of life and prevent social isolation of the vulnerable elderly living in this block of HDB rental flats. It also hopes to facilitate better co-ordination in the provision of community-based support services to the seniors.
The Wesley SAC is due to start operations soon. Its opening hours will be from 9 am to 6 pm from Monday to Friday and 9 am to 1.30 pm on Saturday.
Mrs Jenny Bong, Group Executive Director of the MWS, said: “The MWS is very happy about this arrangement, with Wesley Methodist Church as the partnering church. It is definitely a natural progression since the church has always been very dedicated towards serving the poor and the needy in the Jalan Berseh community.”
“Active ageing” and “successful ageing” are commonly-used terms to encourage the elderly in Singapore to lead healthy, active and productive lives. One of the key outcomes of “successful ageing” is integration and involvement of senior citizens within the community. But not all of them have the opportunity to be able to do that on their own, hence the introduction of (SACs) in selected neighbourhoods.
Meant to be a drop-in centre for residents in that area who are 60 years and above, the Wesley SAC will have a small team of full-time staﬀ to care and conduct activities for the senior citizens. The centre will also rely on volunteers to run interesting programmes.
With this SAC, Wesley Methodist Church members will have an additional platform to be involved in helping the elderly. Mrs Bong recognises the Wesley Befriender Outreach Programme (BOP) for the members’ dedication towards community work. “They are passionate about taking care of the frail and needy elderly and have done a lot of work in the neighbourhood with youth and families,” said Mrs Bong. The Wesley Youth Centre is also in the same block, a stone’s throw away from the SAC.
To better understand the senior residents living in the neighbourhood, the MWS and Wesley’s volunteers (together with the Residents’ Committee) conducted a needs assessment survey by visiting each unit which has at least a senior citizen residing in it.
According to Mr Alvin Goh, the MWS’ Service Planning and Development Manager, this exercise was more than just meeting a requirement stipulated by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports. “The data we collect will be used to develop and tailor specific programmes to fit the needs of this group of the elderly.”
With about 60 senior citizens with an average age of 70.5 years living in the block, the MWS has outlined some core activities that will keep them occupied, like singing sessions, board games, computer lessons, art and craft, keep-fit exercises and outings. There will also be ad-hoc programmes such as periodic health screenings, haircuts, and health talks and seminars. These activities will benefit many of the seniors as close to one-third of them live alone.
In addition, a few of the senior citizens are home-bound due to physical limitations. But they were very pleased when they were informed that the Wesley SAC will be reaching out to them. Mrs Bong is confident that the centre will be an eﬀective outreach to the elderly in the area.
Michelle Tan is the Communications Executive of the Methodist Welfare Services.
Trinity MC helps to serve in eldercare centre
THE NEWLY-OPENED ST LUKE’S ELDERCARE CENTRE (SLEC) in Serangoon provides a range of programmes that encompasses the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle through holistic care – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and socially in its aim to promote successful and active ageing.
The eighth SLEC to be set up, it currently serves 32 day care and 29 rehabilitation clients, and has about 130 members registered in its Wellness Programme.
Officially opened by Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Transport, on July 24, 2010, it can serve about 70 day care and rehabilitation clients and 100 wellness clients a day.
It is the fruit of collaboration among diﬀerent parties, including the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, the National Council of Social Service, the Serangoon Citizen’s Consultative Committee, Bless Community Services and Trinity Methodist Church (TMC).
TMC, which has raised funds for SLEC Serangoon, will have two representatives in the SLECs Advisory Council to oversee its operations, working with Bless Community Services. TMC will also provide for the spiritual, social and rehabilitation needs of the elderly who use the centre.
It holds devotional services at SLEC Serangoon every last Thursday of the month. Volunteers participate actively in leading songs, providing music, prayers and sharing testimonies and messages.