Founder's Blog: Janice Chia 
  • I am often asked why a young person like myself would want to start ASPIRE55? When I first brought up the idea and brainstormed it with fellow co-founder, Yiing Ching (YC), we talked about it with our family members in mind. How would they age, where would they live, what type of activities and services they would need if they were to continue living in their own homes. As such, ASPIRE55 has been and will always be a family oriented village, where we bring our families and friends together, and we welcome new members into the ASPIRE55 family.
    Grandma, then at 80 years old has always been one of my biggest inspirations for my focus on the ageing sector. When I brought her on a cruise recently, she was walking stronger and more steadily than people over 10 years younger than her. Since a year ago, she has been regularly introduced to different activities and new friends. She works out twice a week and she loves chatting with younger friends. When she goes to the park downstairs, she loves practicing English with our Caucasian neighbors.  Something I have learnt is that simply telling our loved ones to go out, go exercise, go make new friends, go take up a new course, does not work. If you care about your them, take the time to accompany them through the first step. Many of our members first visit to our club is accompanied by their friends or family members. Sometimes, all they need is just a little encouragement and support from us when we are trying to get them to try something new.
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  • 21 Feb 2017 11:41 AM | Anonymous

    In the Guinness Book of Records, check out this 92 year old who brings new meaning to power women.  


  • 10 Jan 2017 9:40 AM | Anonymous

    Sometimes we have a feeling about something but we just can't place it. Last night before I went to bed, I texted mum to ask her to meet me in the morning to visit mama. Our usual routine was to go in the afternoon. Somehow, I wanted to see her in the morning today. We arrived at 8+, Dad came along too.  Like all typical overly concerned caregivers, I went to ask the nurse whats Grandma's health stats for the morning. Her blood pressure was now 63/36, and she looked like she was breathing heavily, so the nurses got her some oxygen. By this point, Grandma had already gone without food and water for 5 days. I shared the info with my family. My aunty was also on the way over. Aunty arrived shortly, with a ang pow in tow, you see, mama was a big lottery fan, and she just won first prize a few days ago, aunty gave her the red packet and had some time to talk to mama too. Then all of us, together with the pastor were just chatting as usual in the room when we noticed that mama had left us, she just closed her eyes and went to a happy place.  Thank you mama, for giving me a chance to be by your side and the lifetime of love you have given me.



  • 26 Dec 2016 10:57 PM | Anonymous


    Every few months, ASPIRE55 organises a potluck that is intended to encourage our members to cook, show off their culinary skills and for the rest of us, an opportunity to tuck in and enjoy many of the wonderful dishes presented. Presenting you the wonderful menu cooked by the chefs of ASPIRE55. First we eat, then we work out. 

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 



  • 24 Dec 2016 2:38 PM | Anonymous

    It's been a really exciting month for mama. In the lead up to christmas, we have been really busy. Under the umbrella of Christmas, its given me many opportunities to have conversations and activities with mama. Mama's room has been decorated with christmas lights for the past two months, she loves it, I don't think I will take them down. It's also been a busy period at the nursing home, where volunteers come to carol, staff are busy decorating and organising parties, and also a time where mama puts in even more effort than usual to look pretty. We had her hair and nails done too, in time for festivities. And she takes even more care to pick out her clothes. so she can look pretty for all the photos. We get busy talking about presents for the staff, talking about the christmas party programmes, enjoying the carols, taking pics of every tree we come across, and making a lot of new friends, and visiting the old friends. Mama loves being social, and christmas gives her lots of opportunities to have conversations and just have fun. Although mama can't join us at the ASPIRE55 annual christmas potluck at our clubhouse this year, I keep her in the loop with everything we do there (I show her lots of pics and videos), after all, Mama is my no.1 fan, ambassador for the club and motivation behind it. 



  • 01 Dec 2016 1:31 PM | Anonymous

    Mama refers to the process of her passing on as "When I say bye bye". She asks me if I will be ok. I told her don't worry, I will be good. We will take one day at a time, when the time comes, it comes, she will close her eyes when she gets too tired, and then she will say go. She and I will both be ok, I reassure her. I realise I have come to enjoy patting her on her back and stroking her forehead. Once upon a time, she used to do that for me. She used to fuss over me, give me water when I cough, cook for me when I am hungry, worry about me. Now its the reverse. Its the cycle of life. Mama and I often joke about it that now, she is my baby and I look after her. We have a bond that is honest and it is based on us spending so much time together in the last 37 years of my life. We have had a lot of time together, we have had holidays and meals, and now we have lots of walks together in her wheelchair, talking about things we see. Sometimes random, sometimes from her memory, but usually just laughing and having a good time. She lives in a  faith based nursing home now, but fundamentally, she has always prayed with joss sticks. At this point, she seems a little confused with what her religion should be. But I tell her, just whatever you are comfortable with, just be at peace. Mama doesn't want us to fuss over her funeral, but she has many friends, so I want to it close to her home, where all our neighbours can come. After all, everyone is old, whats important is for them to be able to say their good byes if she likes. From what I know of grandma, she has always liked conversations, laughter, food, fun. So the funeral should be more like a party, a meeting of friends and family. Perhaps it might be controversial to some, but at the end of the day, birth and death are both celebrations of life. 

  • 15 Nov 2016 9:45 AM | Anonymous

    The future nursing home in my opinion is a skilled nursing facility with 24 hour care and high emphasis on rehabilitation and social engagement. We have our own rooms for privacy to be ourselves and decorated according to our own personalities. We are located walking distance to shops, cafes and the community. 

    Residents move in only when they are frail and can no longer perform many of the daily living activities themselves. This might be the last place we will move into before we say "bye bye" to the world. The environment is energetic, engaging and happy. Funding is means tested and ability tested. In addition, it's also supported by private long term care insurance. 

    Plus, facilities that improve health outcomes and physical conditions of the residents receive an annual funding bonus based on a pre-set list of benchmarks. We are old, but we can still be stronger as we age. Just a little slower, but we get there.

    No matter what age we are, we will all have someone that is ageing around us that we care dearly for. But as we age, we need different options and choices too. From independent living for the active and able, to assisted living for those who need more help, skilled nursing for 24 hour care needs, etc. And greater focus on rehab and exercise as an integrated part of daily living and combined with social engagement, not just a segment on the time table. 

    While we are a country great on healthcare and hardware, social isolation and loneliness can be the bigger killer. For those who visit their loved ones regularly in a nursing home, I would encourage you to smile and share some of that time by acknowledging some of the other elderly around you. Take the time to say hi, wave, smile. Small gestures can go along way. Not everyone gets regular visitors, and it does get lonely and boring for many elderly in the homes.

    Recently, a social commentator in Singapore was filmed by Lien Foundation on her experience in living for two weeks in a local nursing home. “I didn’t prepare myself for how bad that actually was.” For 2 weeks, TV presenter Anita Kapoor lived like one of the elderly residents at a nursing home, for an upcoming social documentary. 

    The full  #TalkingPoint episode at http://bit.ly/2fPmJfW

  • 12 Nov 2016 1:02 PM | Anonymous

    Living in a nursing home, her infections are controlled by oral antibiotics. No intravenous tubes are allowed. Grandma gets oral morphine every four hours to control her pain, and antibiotics tablets pounded into power form for her to consume a few times a day. This helps to manage her infections. We have been managing the infections rather well and keeping them at bay since leaving the hospital. Its been two weeks since she has been off the strong intravenous antibiotics at the hospital and we are surprised too that her body has been strong enough to starve off the infections. Its great! 

    But today, we had a fever scare. I arrived in the morning as usual to find Grandma having breakfast in the common area. She was even asking for an extra egg and she was in good spirits. After breakfast, she even took part in a round of balloon tennis with the rest of the residents. Seeing she was in good spirits, I asked if she would like me to take her for a walk around and to visit her friends at the day centre. She said 'Yes'. Great. I was excited, I love thing her out of her ward area and just to wonder around so that she could experience a change of environment. She had a great time chatting with her friend Lay Ha, and she even took part in another round of ball games. 


    So it was totally unexpected when I found her shivering. Her mouth was chattering, her hands were shaky and her whole body was shaking uncontrollably. I found a care staff to take her temperature, it read 38.2 degrees. Thats when I took her back to her room and had the nurses take over to look after her. Grandma looked really pale and weak and she was still shaky. I was probably turning green inside too. I would like to help her, but there was nothing much I could do except assist with the cold compress. Texted the family of course, updated her condition and kept everyone informed. 

    But who would have guessed, in a short span of two hours, she bounced right back into a healthy glow, regular temperature, regular blood pressure, and she asked for lunch. Wow! She was even receiving visitors and chatting with everyone in her bright and chirpy manner. 


    Every day is indeed a blessing that I appreciate. But its not just about grandma, life is a precious and vulnerable commodity. We should love and live every moment. Grandma's bounce is not just about the power of medicine to fight of infections, but I am sure her mind is stronger than many of us. She loves life. She loves conversations, she loves people around her. Sometimes I would like her to rest more, but then, she has limited time, and talking to people is what she enjoys most. Conversations to her might be better than the best that medicine offers.  

  • 04 Nov 2016 1:23 PM | Anonymous

    We try to get Grandma out and about as much as possible. Somedays, she is just too tired, but sometimes we succeed. Today, my aunty got her out of bed and over to the day activity centre where she met her old friends, did some activities, and most importantly, enjoyed time outside of the bedroom.  Although she is getting more tired, being stuck in bed all day is not good for her bedsores, so its really good for her when she is able to get out and just move from bed to wheelchair for a change.


    Fun with balloon tennis 


    Bouncing fitness balls

  • 02 Nov 2016 12:45 PM | Anonymous

    Grandma loves buying 4D. Although she can't buy the numbers herself now, she tasks my aunty to take down her favourite numbers and to place the bets for her. Buying lottery is probably a national hobby amongst our elders in Singapore. Checking the results when its published three times a week is an important activity.  Aunty found a way to engage grandma by asking her to write down the winning numbers. 



  • 01 Nov 2016 1:06 PM | Anonymous

    Although we have all come to accept that grandma is going through her end of life journey, nothing really quite prepares us to see her getting weaker. Some days, she looks really really frail, her hands are cold, her feet are cold, and she looks really tired. I am almost reluctant to head home at night, and even when I get home, i wake up often in the middle of the night, checking my phone, making sure its not on silent, and then convincing myself that I am over thinking before I head back to sleep again.  But I guess the great thing about grandma is that her mind is stronger than her body. And when I head back the next day, she is almost like a brand new person. She eats well, she is chatty, energetic and she is filled with life again. She is definitely shrinking, its inevitable, the weight loss, but I bet if we did a brain scan, she is definitely having a very healthy brain. Perhaps its her positive outlook in life that is helping her body over come this very tough period. Bright and optimistic, enthusiastic about life, she is always ready to overcome any challenges ahead. She has been bed ridden for two weeks now, but she is not giving up on her exercises. She is still trying to do what she can, moving her toes, lifting her feet, showing off her many exercise moves with her hands to me. 







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