Loneliness and isolation were some of the greatest challenges facing the elderly today. SADeaf YouthBeat in collaboration with Thye Hua Kwan (THK) Bedok Radiance Senior Activity Centre (SAC) organised a fun-filled day on 29 March 2014 to bring the elderly and deaf participants together through social and recreation activities.
A total of five deaf participants and 13 volunteers gathered at THK Bedok Radiance SAC on a Saturday morning. The day started with the game of charades where one participant was chosen to act while the remaining guesses the word. The elderly were shy and hesitant to act initially but through the facilitation from the volunteers they began to slowly open up. Joy and laughter soon filled the activity centre and the participants clearly enjoyed the game.
The second game was a memory game and it was designed to stimulate the elderly mentally so that they could maintain and sharpen their cognitive skills. The game ended earlier than expected and the elderly had impressed us with their superb memory skills.
The game which the elderly and Deaf participants enjoyed the most came as a surprise to us – Bowling! Plastic Bowling Pins were placed on the ground and the participants completed against each other by knocking down the pins. The elderly were thrilled and jubilant throughout the game. We could not feel any age barrier between the elderly and the deaf participants. Such joyfulness was contagious and it had made us appreciate the simplest things in life.
The elderly were enthusiastic to learn about the Deaf culture. The Deaf participants taught the elderly simple sign language such as “I love you” and “Thank you”.
The elderly signed “Thank you” to us as we parted our ways. This was indeed a successfully event where the elderly and Deaf had the chance to interact and learn from each other. Last but not least, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all the volunteers and THK Bedok SAC staffs who had made this event possible.
Written by Huang Zongren, YouthBeat Volunteer