A PJ-based senior citizens association serves as a hub to improve the lives and health of older persons.
AS THE population ages and the number of senior citizens increases, it is essential to support the elderly with facilities that can help them age in positive and active ways. One of the best ways to stay active, healthy and young at heart is to encourage seniors to engage in a lifestyle that improves vitality.
Retirees in the Klang Valley can further enhance the quality of their lives by signing up for social classes at the Senior Citizens Association, Selangor and Federal Territory (Secita), a non-government organisation based in Petaling Jaya.
Secita, established in 1984 by a group of retired professionals and civil servants, aims at looking into the needs, welfare and interests of the community. Its president Kathryn Yong Fui Yoon says the association prides itself as a one-stop community centre for people living in and around Petaling Jaya.
“Secita provides services and programmes, including social activities and community support for people from all walks of life. The association aims to promote physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, irrespective of race, colour or creed,” said Yong, 77, in an interview.
The association owns an impressive three-storey day care centre in SS5 in Kelana Jaya. Built in 2010, the RM3mil building comprises a large multi-purpose hall, conference rooms and studios where members can enlist in classes that suit their needs. Currently, there are over 500 members aged from 18 to 90 years old.
“The centre provides retirees with an opportunity to learn new skills, keep active and socialise with other members. Its main objective is to encourage senior citizens to stay active, healthy and happy. Programmes offered at the association have an enormous impact on people’s lives as it helps them to strengthen morale and promote a positive outlook in life,” said Yong, who has been a Secita member for over 25 years.
Secita offers dance lessons, including line dancing and social dancing; physical activities like taichi, wai tan kung and body toning aerobics; Mandarin language tutorials and IT courses. Seven retirees serve as volunteer teachers at the centre.
Taichi classes for beginners are held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8am, and advanced taichi lessons take place on Wednesday at 9am. If choreographed dance movements tickle your fancy, check out line dancing classes on Monday and Wednesday at 10am. For those who enjoy social dance styles from ballroom and waltz to mambo, salsa and tango, join in the lessons on Friday at 10am. Dance classes for beginners are slated on Tuesday at 2pm. Choir lessons are held on Thursday afternoons.
“Members are usually very enthusiastic about these classes, resulting in lessons stretched to one and half hours,” quipped Yong. The classes are priced at RM20 and RM50.
To add more spice into the life of its members, Yong and her committee members also organise local and overseas tours. This year, members got a chance to travel to Guangzhou, China; Betong, Thailand; and cruise to Phuket and Krabi. As far as local trips, Yong has also organised short visits to Raub, Pahang and Chemor, Perak.
“Considering that most travellers are retirees, we try to plan trips that aren’t too far away from home. We try to conduct as many local tours as most members like to jalan-jalan, cari makan. Most importantly, these outings provide senior citizens with a chance to explore different places and have fun along the way,” said Yong.
Besides classes and tours, Secita organises events such as memory booster camps, beauty workshops, health talks and festive dinners (Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali and