Celebrity CEO of Fly Entertainment Irene Ang inspires the crowd
"Get a L.I.F.E.!" is the mantra of this year's 50 Plus Expo.
Hosted by the Council for Third Age (C3A) and held at Suntec City last month, the event featured over 140 companies and organisations providing products and services catering to the over 50 market. Divided into four thematic zones - Live , Inspire, Fulfill, and Enjoy (hence L.I.F.E.) - the event covered practically every topic which active agers would be interested in.
As I reach my mid 40s this year, I have developed a deepening interest in age-related issues. I am not alone. Together with my peers, we grapple not only with our own slowing bodies but elder care concerns as our parents hit their 70s and 80s.
Like many developed cities around the world, Singapore is facing an aging population. With low fertility rates and longer lifespans thanks to advances in medicine and healthcare, a growing proportion of Singaporeans will belong to the mature group. If you look at the table below, you would see that close to 40% of us are now aged 45 and above. Our median age has also increased by almost a decade from 1990 to 2012.
Projecting into the future, this greying trend looks set to continue. Come 2050, it is estimated that the majority of us will be in our 50s and above, with far fewer young adults, youths and kids as shown in the graph below.
Thanks to the effort of C3A and other aging agencies and organisations, the silver-haired brigade need not ride into the sunset and disappear into the horizon. On the contrary, there are lots that one can do to keep oneself mentally, physically and spiritually fit well into one's golden years.
Join me now on a visual tour of the 50 Plus Expo and expand your mind to the possibilities.
First stop: goodie bags! This is almost a must for most events these days, knowing how much we Singaporeans love a freebie (or three).
With more time (and money) at their disposal, active agers are spending more on travel these days. While regional cruises and trips to China, Taiwan and Korea are very popular, exotic holidays to Greece, Turkey, Egypt and other destinations were also offered.
Various activities to keep older women engaged can be found here. They include health checks, exercises, and educational talks. C3A also offers a Practical Social Gerontology (PSG) programme which covers the social aspects of aging and how one can cope with one's third age.
Who says that education has to stop after your 20s? The trend these days seem to be for third agers to join their children in universities, jointly pursuing the eternal quest for knowledge.
Ah yes, nothing like brewing and sipping an exquisite cup of Chinese tea for health and well-being.
Those who prefer a different "stimulant" went for this talk pairing wine and cheese. Cheers to their golden years!
Gardening can be a great hobby to limber those stiff limbs and occupy idle minds, even when one dwells in a high-rise apartment (like close to 90% of us).
While all work and no play may make Ah Huat a dull boy, the prolonged absence of meaningful work could lead to early senility and decline for the elderly. Not to fear, there are various opportunities to keep oneself occupied while earning much needed income to sustain one's latter years.
Yes, blogging is a great way to keep one's mental faculties alert and active! Don't believe me? Just ask my heritage and nostalgia blogging friends Chun See, James Seah, Victor Koo, Laokokok, Uncle Dicko and others.
If you organise an event for active agers, make sure you have ample seats available for them to rest.
Water is the source of life - and livelihood for these vendors of water purifying systems.
Osteoporosis and brittle bones can be a real bitch for the elderly. Thus, it is important to fortify their bodies with calcium enriched supplements like Ensure milk.
More health supplements, this time targeted at reviving your sluggish digestive system. "Would you like some Lactobacillus to go with that, sir?"
I love how George Clooney proudly identifies himself with the greying market on this locally published magazine. He is certainly an icon for the silver haired.
While George Clooney is proud of his wrinkles, others may prefer to preserve their youth. Through herbal concoctions and treatments, establishments like these claim to
restore your crown to its former glory.
You can also go for beauty treatments that whiten your skin, remove those pesky liver spots, iron out those wrinkles, and sharpen your facial features.
No prizes for guessing what these folks are talking about. Financial planning is a MUST for people of all ages, and is especially crucial if you want to retire in comfort.
Similarly, one should have adequate savings and investments to cushion one's lifestyle well into the silver years. Remember - the earlier you start, the easier it will be as you can reap the benefits of compounding your investments over the years.
Ready, aim, fire! Games like these help to sharpen aging reflexes.
Reading is a great way to keep your minds sharp well into your 60s, 70s and 80s. As a regular visitor to our libraries, I am glad to see many seniors spending their weekends borrowing books and reading.
Back and spinal problems afflict many of us due to the occupational hazards of sitting too long in front of computers. Such issues become especially acute for the aging, and services like these are a boon.
Naturally, an aging person would require more balms to soothe those aching muscles, joints and tendons. I can certainly attest to that!
While physical exercise and activity can help burn those calories, some may prefer a short cut to reducing excess weight. I must say that this contraption looks really space age though!
Finally, all of us will experience diminished hearing as we age. Thankfully, unlike those ugly old devices of days yonder, hearing aids these days are stylish and sophisticated.
Labels: active ageing, C3A, Council for third age, demographics, elderly, event, exhibition, gold, golden years, greying, market research, mature market, old, population, silver haired