Sweet acts of kindness

Sweet acts of kindness

Caption: Learning to live a purposeful life

Life has never been the same for Mdm Lily Yeo since a bad fall three years ago. The 56-year-old ex-hawker had to undergo brain surgery and close her dessert stall of 10 years to focus on her recovery at home. In addition to dealing with the physical impact on her health, the lifechanging episode served as a wake up call for Lily to prioritise her personal goals.

“When I fell sick, I felt helpless. I started to imagine how it would be like for our vulnerable seniors – how scared they will be going out alone. They need a trusted friend who can be there for them,” says Lily, who felt the calling to be a volunteer and advocate for seniors.

Living with her two sons in the same block as TOUCHpoint@AMK 433 in Ang Mo Kio,  Lily started to take a keen interest in the centre’s activities. She shares, “When I was working at my dessert stall, the hours were long. By the time I got home, there was little time for me to pursue my hobbies or to socialise with residents.”

Feeling energised, she joined the weekly Walk2Remember walking group in support of residents with dementia. When her strength returned, she also participated in other exercise sessions aimed at improving her mental alertness and fitness. During this period, she also got to know the centre’s Community Outreach Team (CREST), also known as CREST TOUCH @ Cheng San-Seletar, to see how she could be supported as well as to find opportunities to contribute to her community.

Lily with seniors
Caption: Lily (second from left) and residents taking part in a Bak Chang making session at TOUCHpoint@AMK 433

Champion for seniors
As her confidence grew, so did her desire to reach out to vulnerable seniors like 82-year-old Mdm Ng Choon Lan who lives alone. Appreciating the importance of family ties, Lily also connected with Mdm Ng’s children, to provide them with constant updates about her well-being.

“Mdm Ng tends to ask the same questions repeatedly. She always says she wants to follow me. Our bond is strong. I visit her at home, shower her with love, and have meals with her,” shares Lily, adding that one needs lots of patience with Mdm Ng as she takes an hour just to get ready to go out.

Llily with vulnerable seniors
Caption: Lily (middle) with Mdm Ng and Mr Yee

Volunteer Lily2
Caption: Lily at TOUCHpoint@AMK 433

Another recipient of Lily’s care and support is 84-year-old Mr Richard Yee who has hearing issues. “He will join the activities only if I am with him. I also try to get the seniors to take part in interesting activities elsewhere. It gives them more options and they like it as long as we go together,” says Lily.

“Lily is very good. She is very caring. Because of her, I can safely take part in activities at TOUCHpoint@AMK 433. I am appreciative of her kindness,” says Mr Yee with a smile.

To date, Lily has 10 vulnerable seniors under her care.

Skillful service
“Lily’s knack for whipping up mouthwatering desserts and her artistic abilities saw her proactively volunteering in various capacities – from teaching residents to prepare mid-autumn dumplings to cooking deserts for them and curating festive lanterns.

Lily_lantern making
Caption: Lily (second row, second from right) and residents proudly displaying their festive lanterns

LIly Rumi_O
Caption: Lily (middle) observing a Rummy-O session

A testament to her creativity in crafts, Lily’s art piece was one of the artworks exhibited at the Methodist Girls School (MGS) as part of a project to promote inter-generational bonding. Seniors and students were asked to visualise how their community can look like through craftwork.

Lily Craft
Caption: The paper exhibit illustrates Lily’s wish for a relaxing gathering corner for seniors

MGS Thai Cooking
Caption: Lily (middle), who was coached by TOUCH staff Mdm Tracy Lee, also taught teachers from MGS and seniors how to cook Thai dishes

“I like to suggest new ideas so that the activities can be mentally stimulating. For example, we can reward seniors with small tokens when playing games. This is enough to motivate them. I am always on a lookout to see what activities interest them so they have things to look forward to,” Lily adds.

Lily’s enthusiasm and passion for supporting seniors in her community is inspiring. It is volunteers like Lily who help TOUCH Active Ageing further its work in empowering seniors to age in place and live their golden years with dignity and purpose.


TOUCH runs five Active Ageing Centres (AACs) located in Ang Mo Kio, Geylang Bahru, Wellington and Yishun. AACs serve all seniors living within the neighbourhood, and act as a go-to-point to receive timely access to quality care. Our AACs are supported by TOUCH’s trans-disciplinary team of eldercare specialists, leveraging community resources to achieve long-term wellness to prevent and delay frailty, and to help seniors age well in the community.  

Story published in 2024.