We haven’t been able to outrun time. Our desire for youth dates back thousands of years, with scores of people going to extraordinary lengths for a chance at being young forever. We still try to – spending billions trying to develop ways to stay young forever.
But what if we were to just embrace the inevitable, and embrace ageing?
Senior guides brought me on a tour lasting half an hour. The tour covered exhibits that challenged my perception on ageing!
Starting off in front of a screen, a short film “Danielle” was played. I watched as a little girl transformed into an old lady in a mere span of 5 minutes.
To see her lose her youth and grow frail in a matter of minutes reminded me that humans will all grow old someday. Our youth is ephemeral.
Dialogue Room 1
Dialogue Room 1 was a more light-hearted affair. The guide started us off on a discussion on positive ageing by showing us a few pictures of personal significance, explaining why each of them were special.
We then chose a picture from a stack of photographs depicting aged life.
I picked a picture of a young boy teaching his grandmother how to use a smartphone.
That picture really resonated with me because I have spent many weekends teaching my grandfather the intricacies of social media.
Wouldn’t it be nice if my grandchildren would do the same for me?
Following the discussion, we were brought to the Yellow Room, where we experienced the difficulties that elderly people face in daily life.
The exhibits simulate age-related limitations, both physical and intellectual.
I particularly enjoyed the Tremors exhibit. I had to put my hand through a restrictive cuff and unlock a door with a key, while the cuff kept vibrating violently to simulate challenges people with conditions like Parkinson’s face.
It was hard.
To think that a routine task like unlocking the door when leaving or entering my own home might one day become so troublesome scares me.
Being able-bodied is something that many often take for granted. This experience compels me to appreciate my youth.
How long do I have till I face those challenges?
Merged with the Yellow Room is the Pink Room. Visitors listen to videos featuring short stories of senior citizens and their lives in their later years.
Topics such as “Finding Love Online” and “Re-employment of Seniors” are featured with aims to help us adopt a positive attitude towards ageing.
Dialogue Room 2
Finally, we were taken to the Dialogue Room 2, The Future of Ageing.
We were issued clickers to indicate our choices for a series of questions in a live poll. A quiz on population statistics in Singapore was conducted.
What surprised me was that statistically, we are living longer, healthier, and more actively on average.
With a life expectancy of over 80 years, what am I going to do over the next 10 years if I retire at 67?
In the following discussion, the guide discussed with us some things we could do to age gracefully and meaningfully during our retiree years.
In conclusion of the guided tour, Mike, the guide who took my group through the tour said, “Plan positively for your ageing.”
Come and experience this thought-provoking and reflective exhibit, and share with us your thoughts on ageing!
How would you envision yourself when you grow old?