How can seniors benefit from attending community centre courses?
Life-long learning need not always be about professional upgrading and finding ways to upskill ourselves for work. In the case of retired seniors, life-long learning can instead be an avenue to stay active and discover more about themselves even as they age. Singapore’s Community Centres offer plenty of courses by the People’s Association (PA) that can help our seniors beat retirement boredom and learn new skills. Most importantly, attending these community centre courses can be an important way for our seniors to socialise with others and keep their minds and bodies active.
If you have a retired loved one who is looking to learn something new, Singapore’s Community Centres offer an exciting range of courses for our seniors to try their hand at new skills and cultivate new hobbies! From sports and wellness to arts and culinary workshops, check out classes that you can sign your loved ones up for to fill up their weekdays while you’re away at work, as well as activities you can enjoy with them on the weekends.
Martial arts courses
Martial Arts are a fun and invigorating way for seniors to stay active and nimble while making new friends at the same time. The People’s Association offers several types of martial arts courses that you can choose from:
Also commonly known as Tai Chi or Taiji, Taijiquan is commonly practised for defensive training, health benefits and spiritual reasons. It is also an easy-paced martial arts activity typically enjoyed by seniors. As a martial art that focuses on the internal state of mind, it helps seniors relax and rebalance their inner selves. The PA offers courses with a variety of Taijiquan styles and packages with a varying number of sessions.
Locations: Multiple locations, including Siglap South CC, Braddell Heights CC, and Bedok CC
Course fees: $30 to $75
Course duration: 8 to 12 weekly sessions, 1.5 hours per session
Explore your choices and all class locations here.
Wushu can be a popular pastime to pick up for seniors who are looking for something more structured. Routines under this branch of martial arts can include weapon-based or bare-handed exercises. Through wushu, our seniors can learn skills for basic self-defence and strengthen their physique and body constitution at the same time. Beginners can expect to start picking up the basics such as the various fighting stances and forms, before moving on to more advanced training techniques.
Locations: Multiple locations, including Pasir Ris Elias CC, Anchorvale CC, Whampoa CC and more
Course fees: $35 to $200
Course duration: 8 to 12 weekly sessions, 1.5 to 2 hours each
Pick your slot, course package and location here.
3. Muay Thai
Originating from Thailand, Muay Thai is one of the world’s most famous martial arts sports and is commonly featured in professional fighting circuits. Also known as the “Art of the Eight Limbs,’ the sport encourages you to use all parts of your body including your hands, shins, elbows and knees. Training typically consists of techniques and combinations of shadow boxing, pad work, elbowing, and kneeing. While this may seem adventurous for our seniors, Muay Thai can still be a fun workout for seniors when practised in low-impact and guided settings.
Locations: Punggol One CC, Bishan East Zone 1 RC
Course fees: $120 to $210
Course duration: 8 to 10 weekly sessions, 1 to 1.5 hours per session
Encourage your loved ones to try something new today by signing up here.
Sports and wellness courses
Wellness courses help our seniors practice mindfulness and engage in different aspects of their bodily or spiritual wellness.
Here are some on offer at community centres:
Source: North West CDC
Health Qigong is a traditional Chinese exercise that helps to integrate and rebalance synergies between your body, breathing patterns, and mind. Our seniors can learn about the four different sets of Health Qigong, Yi Jin Qing, Wu Qin Xi, Liu Zi Jue and Ba Duan Jin that have been compiled by experts from the Chinese Health Association. Gentle and spiritual, Qigong is an easy hobby for our seniors to ease their minds and bodies.
Locations: Multiple locations, including Marymount CC, Nee Soon East CC, and Tampines Central and Tampines West CC
Course fees: $40 to $130
Course duration: 8 weekly sessions, 1.5 hours per session
Sign up for your slot at one of the island’s community centres here.
2. Yoga for Seniors
Yoga is a fun and easy activity for people of any age to pick up and enjoy. The PA offers a special Yoga for Seniors course tailored for our elderly loved ones. The course programme is designed to allow seniors without any background in yoga to try out different techniques and poses that can help alleviate body aches and discomfort.
Locations: Sengkang CC, Teck Ghee CC
Course fees: $70 to $95
Course duration: 8 weekly sessions, 1 hour per session
Sign up for your slot here.
Source: The Straits Times
Zumba is a cardio fitness program inspired by Latin dance. As Zumba is fast-paced and relatively intense, it is most suitable for seniors who are looking for a challenge to their fitness routines. The party atmosphere of Zumba classes will be welcome for seniors looking for a little thrill.
Locations: Multiple locations, including Fernvale CC, Bishan CC, Hillview CC, and Ulu Pandan CC
Course fees: $50 to $130
Course duration: 4 to 8 weekly sessions, 1 hour per session
Sign up for your class here.
Arts and recreational courses
Art not only refines the soul but also gives us an outlet to express our innermost feelings and creative thoughts. Our seniors can consider the following fun activities on offer at the community centre:
1. Recreational Karaoke Singing
Singing doesn’t have to be pursued alone in the shower! The PA now offers a variety of recreational karaoke singing with different goals in mind. Seniors can opt for vocal training and course packages in different dialects. Singing together with their peers makes for great socialisation and is a healthy and fun way to keep their spirits up.
Locations: Multiple locations, including Kampong Chai Chee CC, Kampong Kembangan CC, Bedok CC, and Keat Hong CC
Course fees: $60 to $350
Course duration: 10 weekly sessions, 2 hours per session
Choose your slot to sing here.
2. Chinese Calligraphy
Seen as a mark of refinement, Chinese calligraphy can be a fantastic hobby to pursue. The PA’s courses will allow your loved ones to pick up basic brush handling and writing techniques and gain an appreciation for the art of calligraphy.
Locations: Multiple locations, including Kim Seng CC, Kampong Chai Chee Garden Hill RN, Marymount CC and Jurong Green CC
Course fees: $75 to $128
Course duration: 4 to 8 weekly sessions, 1.5 to 2 hours per session
Sign up here.
3. Chinese Ink Painting
Chinese ink painting will likely be familiar to many of our elderly loved ones and they may already appreciate its beauty and sophistication. With the PA’s Chinese ink painting courses, our seniors can now learn the fundamental brush techniques for painting flowers, birds and other typical motifs of Chinese ink painting. They will also be able to understand the essential tools and pigments used in the traditional art style.
Locations: Multiple locations, including Hong Kah North CC, Teck Ghee CC, The Serangoon CC, Punggol CC
Course fees: $80 to $190
Course duration: 8 weekly sessions, 1.5 to 2 hours per session
Sign up for a slot here.
4. Oil Painting
Western art may not be as familiar to our seniors here in Singapore, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun learning about it. The PA’s oil painting courses are perfect as an introduction for our seniors. Through the course, they can learn about the versatile expressiveness of oil painting, the materials used, and the art form’s drawing techniques.
Locations: Multiple locations available, including Tanjong Pagar CC, Gek Poh CC, Tampines North CC
Course fees: $65 to $103
Course duration: 4 weekly sessions, 2 to 3 hours per session
Sign up for your course here.
5. Ceramic Art
Ceramic art is already a popular pastime for many youths. And seniors will definitely enjoy this hands-on experience as well! These pottery courses will help our seniors get familiar with the different types of clay involved. They’ll practise moulding basic clay structures using their imagination, too. Plus, learning about techniques like coiling, slab building, throwing, glazing and firing will also be taught, allowing them to further develop it as a hobby in their spare time.
Locations: Multiple locations, including Tanjong Pagar CC, Paya Lebar Kovan CC, Kampong Glam CC and Toa Payoh South CC
Course fees: $140 to $290
Course duration: 8 weekly sessions, 3 hours per session
There’s nothing better than enjoying a pottery class with your parents and grandparents! Sign up for your slot here.
6. Line Dance
Already typically popular with seniors, line dancing is a choreographed dance in a group setting. Dancers will repeat a sequence of steps in lines or rows. Famous line dances include the Macarena and the Electric slide with plenty of dancing going on since the 1970s all across the world. Line dance is simple and easy to follow, making it perfect for our seniors to have fun while socialising with others in a group setting. The PA’s line dance courses are targeted towards two different levels of line dance proficiency: Elementary and Intermediate. Dance styles covered in the course include country, Latin, and American line dance.
Locations: Multiple locations, including Punggol Vista CC, Hong Kah North CC, Jurong Green CC , and Hougang CC
Course fees: $50 to
Course duration: 8 weekly sessions, 1.5 hours per week
Dance your way to a slot here.
Source: Asia One
From gardening to terrarium workshops, there are plenty of garden-related courses for our seniors with green thumbs. Not only can our seniors learn about new plants, but they may also be able to bring their gardening game at home to the next level.
Locations: Multiple locations, including Ang Mo Kio CC, Boon Lay CC, and Passion Wave @ East Coast
Course fees: $22 to $265
Course duration: Single-day sessions, 2 hours to 8 hours per session
Sign up for your gardening workshop here.
8. Teochew and Cantonese Opera
A classic Chinese cultural art form, Teochew Opera remains a popular pastime for many of our seniors in Singapore. Rather than being passive audiences, our seniors can now try their hand at performing Teochew Opera under the guidance of professionals with the PA’s Teochew Opera course. Through the class, our seniors will get to immerse themselves in dialect literature, music, face painting and performance postures and more with the dramatic repertoire of Teochew Opera.
Locations: Tanjong Pagar CC and Bukit Merah CC
Course fees: $100 to $160
Course duration: 5 to 10 weekly sessions, 2 hours per session
Sign up here.
Cooking is not only enjoyable for our seniors but also delicious for those of us who get to experience the fruits of our loved ones’ labours. Culinary courses teaching different cuisines are no doubt one of the best ways for our loved ones to spice up their retirement. Check out the different courses available below:
1. Vegetarian Cooking
Vegetarian cooking is very important for practising Buddhists and the health-conscious. However, it can also be a great way for our seniors to step out of their comfort zone and explore new culinary challenges. The PA’s vegetarian cooking workshop offers a chance for our seniors to learn how to prepare simple and fuss-free vegetarian versions of many Chinese-style dishes.
While there are no Vegetarian Cooking classes available for signups currently, do check out future courses here.
2. International Cuisine Workshops
Western and other kinds of international cuisine may be more foreign to our seniors. They are also exciting new opportunities for them to flex their culinary chops and discover more types of dishes to cook at home. Whether it’s French, Japanese, or even Mexican cuisine, the PA offers plenty of different courses at the community centre for our seniors to choose from.
Locations: Multiple locations, including Kebun Baru CC, Geylang Serai CC and Fernvale CC
Course fees: $45 to $195
Course duration: Single sessions or 4 weekly sessions per course, 2.5 to 5 hours per session
Pick your favourite here.
3. Dim sum making
It’s hard to find someone in Singapore who doesn’t enjoy dim sum. The PA’s community centre courses now offer our seniors the chance to make their own siu mai, har gao, and other fried dimsum goodies.
Locations: Fernvale CC
Course fees: $40 to $120
Course duration: Single session or 4 weekly sessions per course, 3 hours per session
Find a suitable slot here.
There’s nothing quite like the scent of freshly baked bread in the morning to whet your spirit for the day. Our seniors can now experience the joys of breadmaking for themselves with the PA’s breadmaking course. Through the course, our seniors can learn how to make a variety of breads, buns and rolls at home. Who knows, they might even be inspired to start their own home-based bakery as a retirement hobby!
Locations: Multiple locations, including Nee Soon East CC, Tampines Central CC, Marymount CC and Changi Simei CC
Course fees: $98 to $260
Course duration: 1 or 2 sessions per course, 4 to 8.5 hours per session
Find your breadmaking course here.
5. Healthy Cooking
Healthy cooking is especially important for our seniors as their diet can have an outsized impact on their health and medical conditions. Learning to cook healthily then, is the perfect culinary skill for our seniors to pick up as they strive towards living long and happy lives.
While there are no healthy cooking courses available currently, you may sign up for future classes here.
6. Cake and Pastry Making
If your loved one loves baking and art, try out classes that combine a mix of both of these skills. OnePA holds classes and courses on the essentials of pastry and cake making, alongside classes specifically for those who want to learn more advanced cake decorating skills.
Locations: Multiple locations, including Woodgrove Fuchun CC, Tampines West CC, Jurong Spring CC and more
Course fees: $35 to $120
Course duration: 1 to 3 sessions per course, 2.5 to 7 hours per session
Sign up here.
We hope that this guide has been helpful in helping your loved ones stay active and fit during retirement. Of course, we also recognise that some seniors may feel apprehensive about taking part in activities in community centres, or simply prefer the comfort of their home as opposed to foreign environments. In these situations, our Homage Care Pros can still help your loved ones stay active and fit by providing companionship and planning for such activities in the comfort of their own homes. These can be further tailored to your loved ones’ specific needs as our Homage Care Pros are professionally trained to provide a wide range of home care, including for persons with dementia and Parkinson’s.
Find out more by contacting us at 6100 0055!