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ACES in the hole

The ACES Club, which is mirrored from AARP in the US, is hoping to get older adults to remain relevant and a source of inspiration for their community.

BY: Eleanor Yap

 

Dr Lau Teik Soon, a lawyer doing a sharing with Club members.

A new Club is in town that is hoping to get older adults to continue to stay relevant through the help of its programmes.

Ageless Online finds out more about this Club, which was started by the people behind Integrative Learning Corp (organisers of the conference called “Ageless in Singapore”), from ACE Seniors’ executive director, Tang Wai San:

 

You launched ACE Seniors last year, which is a social enterprise and interest group. Can you tell me more about The ACES Club and the programmes?

The ACES Club is the first Singapore membership club to provide customised professional services for 50+ years’ residents to age successfully and with peace of mind. Together with our trusted partners, we provide services in five different areas –professional private care management, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, life coaching services, independent financial advisory, and customised Will and estate planning.

We currently conduct workshops on Saturdays around the topic “how to age successfully” for our Club members. Besides these workshops, the Club runs activities and events such as movie nights, overseas travel trips, and members’ gatherings. Our next member gathering is happening on April 26 at Marina Bay Suites.

 

What do you hope to achieve through The ACES Club? Why the inference on the word “aces”?

ACES represent Active, Contributive and Engaged Seniors. We value older adults as individuals with their wealth of experiences and knowledge – a true social asset to the society. After all, they are the individuals who have built Singapore up to its current state of economic success! Our vision is for older adults to remain relevant and be a source of inspiration for their community through our mission of being active, contributive and engaged in the community.

 

The Club sounds like an ambitious endeavour. How are you planning to market the Club and its programmes?

We are currently reaching out to institutions, professional organisations and interest groups to market our Club.

 

Club director Bob Chew talking to the Club members.

Are you targeting your membership only to those 50 and above or also caregivers/family members?

We are currently opening membership for older adults aged 50 years and above so that we can focus better on the needs of this group of older adults. Caregivers and family members of older adults can register on behalf of older adults in their care or family.

 

How are you getting your funding and to keep the programmes sustainable since joining The ACES Club is free, besides a one-time registration fee of $10?

Our Club’s free activities and talks are sustained through ACE Seniors’ professional training programmes and sponsored projects, as well as contributions from corporate partners.

 

Some of your programmes seem to overlap some other organisations. I am assuming you will be collaborating with them? Could you share who are your major partners at this time?

We are still very new in the market and would love to work with many organisations. Silver Spring is one of our partners on promoting senior employment. We are also starting a pilot project with Jobstreet.com to discuss the possibility of starting a platform for golden opportunities targeting 50+ years. Another one of our projects is to work with NVPC (National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre) to promote senior volunteerism before retirement.

 

You talk about reinventing ageing, how are you going to achieve this?

We offer a holistic approach towards successful ageing. Our programmes collectively aim to empower older adults to be active, contributive and engaged by ensuring four types of fitness:

  • Physical (keeping the body healthy through physical activity).
  • Social (forming and maintaining significant relationships).
  • Intellectual (keeping the mind engaged and active).
  • Purposeful (feelings of self-esteem and having control over one’s life).

We run many activities and workshops as mentioned above, such as overseas travel trips, movie nights, members’ gatherings, fitness activities and “how to age successfully” workshops.

 

ACES Club partner LifeLine telling members about its multipurpose umbrella and walking stick.

How many members have you gotten so far in your Club? How many do you hope to get by end of this year?

The ACES Club will be officially launched on March 26, and we have about 250 Club members to date. Our target is to get 100,000 members eventually. 

 

Are you trying to emulate your Club from AARP in US?

AARP is an inspiration to the ACES team. However, we must not forget that Singapore is very different from US. The needs of our members are different from those of AARP.

 

Are you planning to add more programmes in the future?

We want to work with many interest groups to understand how we can work with older adults to help them age successfully. The team at ACES is always interested to know the older adult’s concerns and interests. We would love to hear from you all!

 

** To find out more about ACE Seniors/The ACES Club, call 6509 8680 or e-mail – theacesclub@aceseniors.org.

 


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