Monday 16 July 2012

Old minds? Never mind, be Superminds

New programme in North East CDC gets seniors together to play games, to keep their minds active
By Walter Sim, The Straits Times, 15 Jul 2012

Seniors in the North East Community Development Council (CDC) who fancy pitting their wits against their friends or like-minded strangers in board games can now do so in a new programme to start interest groups for such pastimes.

The Supermind programme, launched yesterday at the Tampines Changkat Community Centre, aims to get people aged 50 and above together to play games such as bingo, dominos, Rummy-O and Reversi.

The North East CDC, which is behind the programme, hopes to expand it to four other community centres in the next six months.

'When I do house-to-house visits, I notice that many elderly people may live to a ripe old age but are not as strong mentally,' said Ms Irene Ng, Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC, yesterday.

'This programme can help to keep their mind active to delay the onset of dementia, and also to make sure they have something positive to look forward to. Mental agility also plays a key role in avoiding falls.'

The 'active ageing room' is available between 9am and 10pm every day. Anyone can drop in and play, but the organisers plan to keep track of regulars. The room is also known as lao di fang, a wordplay that means a regular meeting place as well as a place for the elderly in Mandarin.

The CDC hopes to get at least 50 members in each club, which will hold monthly competitions between seniors, or generations, to promote bonding among family members.

The games will be refreshed regularly, and there are plans for club leaders to visit places like The Mind Cafe, a chain of board game cafes, to find out about new games that may be crowd pleasers.

Besides board games, the active ageing rooms will carry 100 library books, chosen every month by the National Library Board, and be a venue for mental wellness talks organised with the support of the Health Promotion Board.

'Sometimes it can get really boring and lonely at home,' said Mr Leong Wing Nam, 67, who lives near Tampines Changkat Community Centre with his wife. They have no children.

He said he intends to visit the active ageing room at least twice a week with his wife and friends. They like to play cards.

'Through the Supermind programme we can gather with friends, meet more people with the same interests and share life stories,' he said.

No comments:

Post a Comment