Young and old bond at health screening
Secondary 2 student Avryl Buenaventura, 13, enjoyed interacting with the elderly yesterday at Geylang Methodist Secondary School (GMSS).
As her grandparents do not live in Singapore, she told The New Paper that "it was refreshing to talk to the elderly".
"I had fun bonding with them over old songs like The Sound of Music."
GMSS held a functional health screening at its indoor sports hall, where 25 student volunteers helped guide 22 seniors through the process.
The event is part of Ministry of Health's Community Network of Seniors (CNS) Initiative to encourage active ageing.
Functional screening started in 2011 but this is the first time National Healthcare Group (NHG) is collaborating with a secondary school and involving students in spreading health literacy among elderly residents.
The students previously visited NTUC Health Silver Circle Senior Care Centre to promote the benefits of functional screening to the elderly. They also had training to understand health ailments, which involved completing an obstacle course blindfolded and using sign language.
GMSS also distributed flyers to neighbouring housing blocks and to secondary 1 students to encourage their grandparents to attend the functional screening.
At the event, seniors underwent basic oral health, vision and hearing tests before getting their summary reports and receiving follow-up advice.
The screening is open to all Singaporeans aged 60 years and above, and is free for Pioneer Generation seniors.
It costs $2 for Community Health Assist Scheme cardholders and $5 for non-cardholders.
An NHG spokesman said: "Functional screening enables timely provision of healthcare services to older adults with declining function. This intergenerational collaboration is a way to spread health literacy among the young, and the seniors in the community effectively."
Senior resident Madam Teng Yew Moi, 70, told TNP: " I seldom interact with children so this was a rare chance for me. They were very polite and helpful."