Celebrating older persons
Singapore’s International Day of Older Persons focuses on “Communicate. Connect. Celebrate.” with a handbook on interacting with seniors and thank-you cards.
A handbook titled “Removing Barriers Series – Interacting with Seniors” was launched recently during the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) celebrations held in Singapore. IDOP is celebrated worldwide on October 1 and recognises the contributions of older persons to society and examines issues that affect their lives.
In Singapore, the celebrations which were organised by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) surrounded the theme of “Communicate. Connect. Celebrate.” with Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong being the guest-of-honour.
The handbook, which represents the “Communicate” portion, provides tips on how to better communicate with seniors, and lists down contacts and useful resource information. Hard copies of the handbook will be distributed to VWOs, grassroots organisations, voluntary groups, libraries and hospitals, while soft copies are available online at – www.ncss.gov.sg/social_service/idop2015.asp.
The second portion, “Connect”, involves a senior at home or at work celebrating with someone they truly appreciate – be it family members, neighbours and friends. Seniors are encouraged to express their gratitude using thank-you cards designed for IDOP 2015. They come in different languages and the public, who would like to share the cards with a senior at home or at work, can make a request online to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Seniors can express their gratitude in words and/or drawings on the cards.
According to NCSS, more than 450 volunteers from 15 community, corporate and social service organisations will also encourage and facilitate seniors to pen down their appreciation on the thank-you cards this month. It shared that over 10,000 of these cards will be distributed to the partnering organisations.
As part of the “Celebrate” portion, volunteers will post photos of seniors and their thank-you messages on social media with the hashtag #seniorsaysthanks to generate greater awareness.
Besides the handbook, 15 workshops will be held at VWOs and community centres, and at NCSS. The workshops which will be conducted by three eldercare experts aim to better equip befrienders and volunteers from community organisations and VWOs with useful communications skills when interacting with seniors. Tips on effective communication and myths of ageing, which are listed in the “Removing Barriers Series – Interacting with Seniors” handbook, will be shared during these workshops.