Nonagenarian leads the way in staying healthy

Nonagenarian leads the way in staying healthy

Caption: 93-year-old Mr Chong practising Qigong

Chong and wife lowres
Caption: TSAC at Yishun 162 has helped to enrich the lives of Mr Chong and Mdm Yeow

Mr Chong Kum Yeok may be 93 years old but he is the oldest and fittest senior at TOUCH Senior Activity Centre (TSAC) at Yishun 162. Mr Chong lives with his 83-year-old wife Mdm Cheow Neok Ngor, a wheelchair user, and a domestic helper. They have three children who live elsewhere.

Since young, Mr Chong has always been sporty and adventurous. He used to work as a businessman and travelled frequently. After he retired, he started swimming every day at a public pool in Pasir Ris in the morning and would practise Qigong at the park in the evening. He was in his 70s then.

Age is just a number
When Mr Chong and Mdm Cheow moved to Yishun in 2019, they started joining the activities at TSAC located at their block. Gentle and soft spoken, Mr Chong always finds ways to encourage and inspire other seniors. For example, after learning about a new swimming activity that has been organised, he quietly registered for the eight-week swimming course even though he knew how to swim.

“I was new at the centre. I thought this would be a good way to show my support to my new friends. I wanted them to have the courage to try out this new sport, just as how I have loved it. I would let the swimming instructor take the lead and follow the steps as if I was a new swimmer,” said Mr Chong with a smile.

Chong and seniors
Caption: Mr Chong (middle) sharing with seniors about the benefits of Qigong.

QigongCaption: Mr Chong demonstrating Qigong techniques.

Mr Chong Mdm Boo with seniors
Caption: Mr Chong (second from left) having a lively chat with TSAC staff and seniors at a coffesshop

Inspiring other seniors
When Mr Chong practises Qigong, residents would also join him. He also exercises regularly with seniors and TSAC staff. Mdm Cheow also started coming down to the centre regularly to play Bingo and attend festive activities. She is happy to see her husband inspiring other seniors to stay fit, and showing them that they, too, can lead healthy and fulfilling lives in their twilight years.

“When people ask me what is my secret to my old age, I tell them to let go of hurts and not to be easily upset. Be happy, learn to relax and enjoy the simplicity and goodness that life has to offer. Learn to forgive and forget. Be in a community of caring people like TOUCH; use what you are good at to encourage and help one another and you will find joy in life,” added Mr Chong.

Published in 2021