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Health-care boost for the elderly in Sembawang (The Straits Times, 11/03/2013)

 

By: Pearl Lee

THE opening of a new wellness centre in September, coupled with the expansion of a free health-screening process, will bring benefits to the elderly in Sembawang.

The wellness centre will be set up at The Jelutung Community Club, which is being renovated. The community club will be renamed the Canberra Community Club when it reopens in August this year.

The wellness centre, while open to all, specifically caters to elderly people.

It will include a small gym that has a treadmill and exercise bicycles for senior citizens to do basic exercises.

A nurse from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital will also be stationed at the wellness centre from September to attend to the needs of elderly people who live in the neighbourhood.

The screenings are part of a new health programme announced by Dr Lim Wee Kiak yesterday.

Instead of being held once a year, they will be available once every quarter.

"For the annual health screening, we screen about 1,000 elderly now. We hope to expand this number, to reach 5,000 to 10,000 elderly every year," said Dr Lim, who is an MP for Nee Soon GRC.

Yesterday, during the annual Canberra Day community event, Dr Lim also launched the Canberra Loan-a-Wheelchair programme, which was suggested by three students from Hwa Chong Institution.

The students, who followed Dr Lim on his regular Meet-the-People Session, realised there was a demand for wheelchairs on a short-term basis for the elderly living in the Canberra constituency.

One of them, Ms Claire Lim, 17, said many senior citizens needed wheelchairs only for a short period, and it did not make sense to purchase one.

The trio were also raising funds at the event through the sale of canned drinks. By the afternoon, they had reached their target of $2,000, which will pay for 10 wheelchairs.

The wheelchairs will be available at all residents' committee centres within the Canberra constituency, as well as the new wellness centre when it opens.

Dr Lim said: "This whole project was initiated by students who actually followed me and then realised that there's a need for wheelchairs.

"These are really programmes initiated by the community, for the community."

Two other events were held at Woodlands Swimming Complex and MacRitchie Reservoir Park yesterday, promoting healthy living through an active lifestyle.

Email: leepearl@sph.com.sg

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.