Working Group Reflections on Women of the Third Age

We kicked off our first working group session for our “Women of the Third Age” project on 10 March, 2018 with lots of ideas and questions, some of which will require further exploration and research.

For us, “Women of the Third Age” not only refer to women in their older years, but also those approaching the Third Age. Through this project, we seek to build greater awareness among women from their 50s on issues, solutions and resources related to ageing.

Ageing and Challenges

In one exercise, the “Women of the Third Age” working group’s ideas, hopes and aspirations are expressed in words and drawings.

The diverse working group first identified a range of ageing-related issues confronting women in Singapore today.

These issues range from emotional (loneliness, emotional well-being, bullying), financial (poverty, aid/support), institutional (lack of knowledge of sources of aid and assistance, discrimination), family (rejection, lack of support) to  other matters such as caregiving, funeral/rites.

As we brainstormed on the available options and solutions to these specific challenges, we also constructed what would comprise a set of realities that would best represent an aspiration for an active, engaged and fulfilling life.

We identified for greater attention and study areas related to financial planning, wills and lasting power of attorney, socialising and friendships, networks of support, self-care, identification and communication of available resources and aid. There are many more to be explored.

An Active and Fulfilling Life

In this first session, the working group surfaced a range of issues and nuances as we build our understanding of the environment – how are our anxieties, aspirations and realities related to our environment, and what can we do to live an active and fulfilling life with dignity?

Future sessions will identify and discuss other intersections of Singaporean women in their advanced years – how and to what extent are the issues and concerns of the intersections different or similar?

Notwithstanding that, we are hopeful that some of our other programmes can dovetail with this project – for instance, self-care awareness, activities and outreach events.

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