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Community facilities help seniors stay fit


In 2019, life took an unexpected turn for Madam Sumam Govindan when she had a fall at home and fractured her arm. As she lives alone, she could not take care of herself. Thankfully, she recovered well after receiving support from community partners like TOUCH Community Services. Today, the 84-year-old maintains wellness by exercising at the fitness corner near her house. Madam Sumam, an Ang Mo Kio resident, underwent therapy sessions at TOUCH’s Day Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) at TOUCHPoint@ AMK 433 after being discharged from a community hospital.

TOUCH’s occupational therapist Brenda Yap, who attended to her, says: “With our rehabilitation programmes and home care services, we helped Madam Sumam improve her mobility and restore her confidence. We also encouraged her to exercise together with other residents so she can continue to keep fit.”

Chronic back pains as an adult led me to pursue pilates, reigniting my interest in healthcare and the human body. During the same time, my mother was admitted to the hospital due to chronic lung disease. It was an ordeal, watching my once sprightly mother confined to her home due to illness. She eventually passed on due to respiratory failure.

After about six months of therapy, Madam Sumam is now able to do some housework and prepare simple meals on her own. “She can now walk longer distances too!” Ms Yap adds. To further develop stronger core muscles and better balance, Madam Sumam continues attending therapy sessions at the DRC and exercises regularly at the fitness corner. She says: “I go to the fitness corner with my friends whenever I can. I am trying to improve my sense of balance so I will not fall as easily again.”

Occupational therapists like Brenda play an integral role in helping patients regain their strength and reintegrate in the community.

Learn more about community care and how you can make a difference in the lives of others.

This article was originally published in AMK Town Council’s newsletter – Our Home (Jan - Mar 2021 issue).