Keeping Our Seniors Fit And Happy Through Adaptive Sports
Keeping Our Seniors Fit and Happy Through Adaptive Sports
- Launch of “Fit & Fun Adaptive Sports Toolkit” – Specially designed adaptive sport activities for wheelchair users in nursing homes and eldercare centres
- Support for Community Care sector partners - CareMasters Funding
Sport Singapore (SportSG) in partnership with the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), launched the “Fit & Fun Adaptive Sports Toolkit”. The virtual event was attended by more than 80 staff and volunteers from nursing homes, senior activity centres, senior care centres and community hospitals.
“Fit & Fun” Adaptive Sports Toolkit
The “Fit & Fun Adaptive Sports Toolkit” is the first-ever toolkit co-designed by AIC and SportCares, the philanthropic arm of Sport Singapore. Adaptive sports are sporting activities that have been modified to enable persons of differing abilities to participate actively. The toolkit supports staff and volunteers from the Community Care sector in facilitating and implementing the toolkit’s activities for their clients so that they can stay fit, active and socially connected. The adaptive sports activities are suitable for seniors with physical or cognitive conditions, e.g. those with stroke or early dementia. These activities can contribute to improving the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of seniors.
The free toolkit includes facilitation tips and step-by-step instructions to guide facilitators in setting up and facilitating the adaptive sport sessions. Instructional videos are also available. The “Fit & Fun Adaptive Sports Toolkit” is available for download on AIC’s website from 30 November 2020.
Mr Tan Kwang Cheak, AIC’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are pleased to partner SportCares in developing this toolkit to make sports accessible to more of our seniors. Many of them enjoyed sports in their younger years and we hope that these adaptive sports will help them experience renewed joy from familiar activities. By learning to play the sports in new ways, they can have fun, stay active and even enjoy some friendly competition with their fellow seniors. Our Community Care partners can download the toolkit, take up the funding from SportCares and make adaptive sports a regular activity for seniors in their facilities.”
SportCares CareMasters Funding
During the virtual event, SportCares also launched the SportCares’ CareMasters Funding. The 3-year scheme aims to equip and support eligible Community Care partners with the necessary training and funding required to introduce and implement adaptive sports in their facilities. Funding includes the purchase of sport equipment, refreshments and transportation costs. Each Community Care partner may receive up to $2,000 per year as part of this scheme.
While the CareMasters Funding is applicable to Community Care sector’s partners’ only, terms and conditions apply. More information about the CareMasters Funding can be found here.
“At Sport Singapore, we want to use sport as a force for good and we believe that sport not only improves health and fitness but it also helps to boost morale and wellbeing. Sport complements exercise, keeping different muscle groups in action while providing an engaging variety of ways to be active. We hope that the “Fit & Fun Adaptive Sports Toolkit” will help to improve the quality of life for our seniors through modified physical activities. More importantly, we are happy to provide funding support to our Community Care partners to execute the toolkit and benefit our seniors.” Said Chief ActiveSG, Sport Singapore, Mr Sng Hock Lin.
Pilot Programme at Sree Narayana Mission Nursing Home
The adaptive sports activities featured in the toolkit were first introduced to seniors from Sree Narayana Mission Nursing Home and Eldercare Centre. Seniors took part in a pilot from May to August 2019 and had the opportunity to try out seven different adaptive sport activities. Floorball and Ladder Toss were voted as the top 2 most preferred adaptive sport activities by the seniors and these are included in this volume of the toolkit.
“I look forward to playing adaptive sports as they are interesting and keeps me active. We need teamwork to play and it helps me to make many new friends. It is okay if I lose today, I will try my best again tomorrow.” Said Mr. Ramakrishnan S/O T Nadarajan, a 72-year-old resident at Sree Narayana Mission Nursing Home.
The adaptive sports can be played recreationally or competitively. When played competitively, these games require concerted teamwork among players, enhancing social interaction among seniors, staff and volunteers. Adaptive Floorball is similar to the original game play, but has been adapted to enable seniors to play while seated. The players use floorball sticks to maneuver the ball and score. Adaptive Ladder Toss requires players to land bolas onto a ladder from their chosen distance. Points are awarded based on the distance from the target.
“Adaptive sports is something I strongly recommend every nursing home to consider taking up. The payback is much greater than the resources required to implement the programme. Most of all, it is priceless to see the joy in our resident’s faces as they participate in the games and relive the sporting days of their youth,” said Mr S Devendran, CEO of Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore).