Adding a little kopi with toast
A new initiative by the Council for Third Age to get active seniors to help the less active ones adopt a more exciting lifestyle.
Some seniors are more active than others in their Third Age. Hence, the Council for Third Age (C3A) has piloted a new initiative with the help of Fei Yue Community Services where active seniors can help and encourage less active seniors to begin to adopt an active lifestyle.
The buddy system
The Active Interest Buddy initiative, better known as “Kopi & Toast”, is intended to smoothen the transition into the Third Age and promote “successful ageing”. The six-month programme aims to provide a fulfilling experience for both the Kopi (an active senior) and the Toast (the less active senior). Details were announced at the opening ceremony of 50plus EXPO. This initiative is expected to be completed by May 2014.
Said Lim Kim Eng, 64, a Kopi buddy: “Together with my Toast buddies, I had the opportunity to learn how to make handicrafts. We started sharing very freely our common experiences and childhood stories. The feeling was that we are like old friends.”
For Toast buddy, 66-year-old Alan Cheong, the programme has helped him to lead a more active lifestyle. He said: “Previously, I am a rather passive person who enjoyed spending time at KTVs singing karaoke. Now I have found many more interesting activities to live a more interesting life. I go for walks with my buddies along the Changi coastal area. I feel I am re-living my younger days and this feeling is so fulfilling.”
Good role models
Gerard Ee, chairman of C3A, shared at the opening ceremony, that preliminary results from a recent study commissioned by C3A with 2,000 participants aged 50 to 74 to better understand the seniors’ perception and attitude towards successful ageing, revealed that seven in 10 seniors feel that “successful ageing” includes having good role models to show them the various possibilities for older persons. And nearly 90 percent feel that older persons can learn new things.
He said the Buddy initiative “allows especially the more reserved seniors, through establishing friendship with a more active senior buddy, to learn new things and discover new interests.”
Ee added that more results of the programme will be shared in coming months but for now there are positive results. “Some have gone on an outing to Johor Bahru and are planning their next trip!”
** Those interested in participating in the programme can contact Fei Yue Community Services at 6376 3563 or e-mail to: email@example.com. They will be assessed and then placed accordingly. Also, the Kopi (mentors) will have to undergo a short training stint.