Living life to the fullest

IT WAS a walk that led 58-year-old Ms Zahrah Abdul Wahab down the path of active ageing.

The Customer Service Manager at an oil and gas company was persuaded by her best friend to participate in the 2016 "Walk for Wellness" event organised by NTUC U Live. She made some friends who encouraged her to sign up as an NTUC U Live member.

"That walk was a turning point in my life. I felt that it was time for me to be active and decided to sign up as a U Live member," she shared.

U Live is a community for NTUC members aged 55 years and above to encourage positive ageing and healthy living.

Positive ageing used to be the least of Ms Zahrah's priorities as her life revolved around work and family. For years, the single mum juggled two jobs and even worked weekends to provide for her three children.

Now that her children – two boys and a girl – have grown up, the bubbly senior, who is now married, feels determined to live her life to the fullest by participating in U Live's programmes for seniors.

Last year, she signed up for Active 55+, a programme where participants aged 55 years and above enrol in workshops aimed at helping them lead happy, healthy, productive and purposeful lives. 

"The workshop facilitator asked us to pen down our dreams. I wrote that I wanted to be a volunteer and give back to the community," she said. And give back she did.

That same year, Ms Zahrah volunteered at nEbO W.I.S.H – Heritage Snapshots, a community event where elderly beneficiaries are treated to a simple makeover and a photoshoot at the National Gallery Singapore.

She also subsequently volunteered to be trained as a cyber guide and was part of the U Live Social Media Ambassador Development programme. As a cyber guide, Ms Zahrah helped facilitate a joint event with the People's Association where 300 seniors learnt about smartphone functions. She even stepped out of her comfort zone to emcee the event!

While many seniors get overwhelmed by the plethora of smartphone applications – or apps, as they are more commonly known – Ms Zahrah remains unfazed.

The tech-savvy senior said: "My top five mobile apps are Facebook, Carousell, My Singtel, WhatsApp and Google Maps. I feel that technology makes life easier, simpler and hassle-free. You have to keep up to stay relevant."

Fittingly, Ms Zahrah gave a talk for seniors titled "Smarter Communications with WhatsApp" at the U Live Symposium last year.
Walking the talk: Ms Zahrah led a talk titled "Smarter Communications with WhatsApp" at the 2017 U Live Symposium.

When it comes to learning and volunteering, Ms Zahrah has no plans to slow down.

This year, the active ager is part of the U Live Ambassador Taskforce where she will help plan and organise the U Live Symposium, a one-day event that focuses on lifelong-learning. 

Through U Live, Ms Zahrah has discovered her strengths and she chooses to pay it forward by sharing her knowledge with others.

The vivacious senior said: "U Live has provided me with the platforms to showcase my potential. I will continue learning and volunteering as knowledge is not meant to be kept to yourself but to be shared with others."

The U Live Symposium will be held on 3 November 2018 at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Paya Lebar. Focusing on the theme of "Technology in your daily life," participants will learn about cashless payments, cyber security and increasing productivity via various tools and applications. Find out more about the symposium or register here.

Article published on: 12/10/2018