Buddy network promotes active ageing

Buddy network promotes active ageing

After retiring as an insurance agent last year, 66-year-old Mr Alan Cheong wanted to make new friends and take part in meaningful activities.

He found what he was looking for after joining a buddy network for seniors called Kopi & Toast. It was started last October by the Council for Third Age (C3A) - a government-funded group that promotes active ageing.

Mr Cheong's schedule is now packed with activities such as day trips to Johor Baru and nature walks. He is among 68 seniors who have joined the network and have been linked up by the council.

"Families are getting smaller," said C3A chairman Gerard Ee. "Some elderly people do not have many children whom they can spend time with. Others may also choose to be single. So there is a need for seniors to find support in friends."

C3A has organised a three-day 50plus Expo at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, which ended on Sunday.

Visitors can learn more about activities and products such as vitamins and medicines.

Voluntary welfare organisations partnering C3A have been spreading the message about Kopi & Toast, and there are plans to expand the scheme this year.

Senior Minister of State (Prime Minister's Office) Heng Chee How, who visited the exhibition, urged seniors to stay active by making new friends and volunteering.

Retired administrative executive Stephen Low, 70, who is also a new friend of Mr Cheong, said: "I find it meaningful when I plan activities for my new friends. Some of them see me as their role model too."

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