Ageing is inevitable and may bring about many changes to our lives, physiologically or otherwise. However, these changes may not necessarily be all doom and gloom if we adopt a positive mindset towards ageing.

Often, setbacks associated with ageing, such as the death of a spouse or being diagnosed with chronic illnesses, may dampen the spirits of seniors and if left unchecked, they turn reclusive. Tough as it gets, it is important that seniors continue to have a positive outlook towards life despite these setbacks.

Similarly, society’s perception towards seniors also need to positively evolve. Seniors often internalise the prejudices perpetuated by society and in turn perceive themselves as incapacitated and frail. As a result, some seniors may shy away from doing things they used to enjoy, or even trying out new experiences, such as dancing or taking a vacation. Having such a negative mindset lowers the confidence of seniors and their quality of living.

The community can look for ways to empower seniors to reverse their negative state of mind and enable them to age positively. Empower Ageing’s Go For Your Mountain (GYM) programme is a prime example of this vision. GYM is an intergenerational, social advocacy event championing for seniors to pursue their dreams and overcome issues typically associated with ageing, such as loneliness and deteriorating health. These seniors, some more frail than others, go through a multi-month training programme with the eventual goal of climbing Mount Faber. More importantly, the programme empowers seniors to overcome other figurative obstacles in their lives, despite their age or physical limitations.

Photo credits: Seniors Colabs Experiential Journey to Cornerstone
Senior Centre (Cheng San)

On October 19, more than 1000 seniors and young volunteers gathered for this year’s GYM event to climb Mount Faber together, with the youngest participant being 4, and the oldest, 98. The event saw meaningful intergenerational interactions and relationships formed. Empower Ageing partners with seniors, families and communities to achieve this vision. Such social programmes and collaborations should be viewed as positive investments to reverse the stigma of ageing and reinforce the notion that age is just a number. For more information on Empower Ageing and how you can support their vision to break stereotypes of ageing and empower seniors to age positively, visit http://www.empower.org.sg/.