WHAT if you could step into the shoes of a senior citizen; feel what they feel, see what they see and do what they do? That’s what Dialogue with Time – Embrace Ageing hopes to help you achieve. Launched this month by Science Centre Singapore, the exhibition explores and re-defines ageing through a series of interactive exhibits. And to help you navigate the exhibition are, no surprise, senior citizens. The I Feel Young SG team spent a day with one of them, 65-year-old retiree Sen Chung. Join him on this virtual tour of the exhibition.
Meet your guide: Sen Chung, 65
Sen: You can call me Sen. I’m a former corporate development director with an interest in the science of ageing. When my family learnt that Science Centre Singapore was recruiting senior volunteer guides for the exhibition, they encouraged me to sign up for it. So here I am today!
: The experience starts in the Prologue Room, where you will observe how a young lady’s face ages through the course of her life. This video shows that ageing is a journey and natural process.
Dialogue Room 1: Ageing is a personal matter
: In this room, I use old pictures of myself to share my life story and thoughts on ageing. Through these stories, I hope to change perceptions and counter stereotypes of ageing.
: Here, I’m holding an old picture of my mum, brother and me when I was a child. Make a guess – am I the boy on the left or right?
: Now's the fun part. From a stack of picture cards, you will choose one that best represents your definition of retirement and share your answers with everyone. If you’re stumped, ask yourself this: What will I be doing at 65 and beyond? How would I like to live my life then?
Sen: There are no right or wrong answers as we have different interpretations of ageing.
: In the yellow room you will learn about the physical and sensory challenges that can occur in old age. Explore the series of exhibits simulating age-related limitations such as blurred vision and shaky hands.
: These exhibits show that ageing is a body issue; it’s our biology and will happen to everyone.
Sen: Wonder how it feels like to struggle when you walk? Strap some weights to your legs to experience the difficulties some seniors face when walking. The exhibits in the yellow room will help you empathise with seniors who face these challenges every day.
Sen: Wait… if you think that ageing is all doom and gloom, you’re wrong! The pink room shows that ageing can be a positive experience. See those pink pods behind me? You can enter each pod and hear the stories of seniors who share their wisdom, experiences and passion. These stories revolve around topics such as “Re-employment of Seniors” and even “Finding Love Online”.
Sen: There are opportunities despite age-related challenges. It all depends on our mindset. We may face disabilities, but we can still embrace ageing and achieve many things. We can still lead very meaningful lives and contribute to society. And yes, the faces you see on the pods are actual seniors. They move and “talk” to you too!
Dialogue Room 2: The future of ageing
Sen: This room challenges you to imagine what the future of ageing will look like. Using tiny handheld devices, you will submit answers to a quiz on population statistics in Singapore. Everyone’s answers will be shown on the screen immediately – cool, huh! Hey, who says seniors aren’t tech-savvy?
Sen: Here’s a well-known statistic: by 2030, 1 in 4 Singaporeans will be 65 or older. In 1970, it was 1 in 31 and in 2015, it was 1 in 8. This means that we will have over 900,000 seniors by 2030… that’s almost a million!
Sen: And… you’ve almost reached the end of Dialogue with Time. I say ‘almost’ because there’s one final station at the exhibition, but I’ll keep it a surprise! Check it out for yourself. Before you leave, don’t forget to grab a sticker and paste it on the blue circle that corresponds with your age.
See you at Dialogue with Time! Stand a chance to win tickets to this exhibition. Share this article on your Facebook timeline and hashtag #ifeelyoungSG. Make sure your post is set to “public”!
To find out more about Dialogue with Time - Embrace Ageing, click here.
To purchase tickets to Science Centre Singapore, click here.