In June 2016, Stephen suffered a severe cough due to viral infection. Even with prescribed medication he was unable to recuperate fully, hence his wife decided to resign from her job to look after him full-time. The situation had left Stephen feeling extremely depressed and even suicidal – until he chanced upon Senior Service at REACH Powerhouse.
Together with his wife, they participated in some activities such as painting and outings, which alleviated some of Stephen’s emotional burdens. With encouragement from the staff, they also participated in the 2017 PassionArts Festival via plank art.
The pair also benefited greatly from the SCOPE Programme conducted at the Powerhouse, where they learnt about chronic illnesses commonly- faced by the seniors and the precautions. They were also taught simple exercises for strengthening, balancing and flexibility. They then went on to volunteer for the Community Café to prepare breakfast and mingle with other seniors.
One of the favourite moments for Stephen was when Ivan, staff from Senior Service, registered him for a 6-week Ortego training course at Tan Tock Seng Hospital where he uses the skills learnt to educate other senior citizens on fall prevention exercises.
Till date, Stephen is still conducting training due to the overwhelming response received.