"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," may just be the saying that best represents 82-year-old Mdm Teo Beng Eng's optimistic outlook on life. For over 40 years, she ran a food stall at a primary school, caring for others while staying active herself.

Her routine involved waking up early in the morning, preparing food at the school starting at 5am, and concluding her workday just after 1pm. During her spare time, she joined community walks, her way of keeping active by getting some exercise amidst her busy schedule.

Life, however, took an unexpected turn three years ago when Mdm Teo had a stroke, resulting in a loss of mobility on one side of her body. This led to a shift from routine and activity to a period of physical challenges and rehabilitation.


Finding New Hobbies at An Active Ageing Centre

To regain strength and mobility in her limbs, Mdm Teo continued going for rehabilitation at the hospital post-discharge. She soon, however, found herself wanting other ways to keep active. 

"I told my physiotherapist that I wanted to try something else. Since I live in Bedok, they recommended for me to go for activities offered at Sunlove Chai Chee Active Ageing Centre to stay active," she adds.

It was at this Active Ageing Centre (AAC) that Mdm Teo was introduced to several activities that would suit her needs, including adaptive floorball. 

Adaptive floorball, a modified version of the traditional floorball game, is designed to enable people with varying physical abilities to take part while seated. Two teams sit opposite each other with ample space in between for the floorball action to take place, as they strategise to score goals, hitting the floorball with sticks towards their opponent’s goalpost. 


The Impact of Being Active on Mdm Teo's Life

Despite not having played floorball before, Mdm Teo embraced this opportunity to learn. Over time, adaptive floorball has become more than a physical activity. It also helped Mdm Teo regain better control of her upper body, rebuild arm strength and foster a sense of community with other seniors at the centre.

Mdm Teo finds adaptive floorball to be one of the easiest activities that she has picked up at the AAC. 

“It’s really easy to get the hang of adaptive floorball. It can be tiring sometimes, especially for me, as I can’t push myself too much, but I get the best of both worlds at this floorball court — a way to exercise to the best of my abilities and spend time with the friends that I’ve made at Sunlove. It really boosts my mood every time I’m playing with them.”

The activities at Sunlove Chai Chee Active Ageing Centre have significantly impacted Mdm Teo's activity levels. While adaptive sports help relieve muscle stiffness in her arms, she also credits exercises like Chair Zumba and the camaraderie with fellow seniors for motivating her to stay active.

“I particularly enjoy the exercise band activities and the Chair Zumba on Tuesdays and Thursdays, because it gives me a chance to stretch my muscles,” she adds. “Plus, the other seniors here are friendly, so it’s always fun when I’m down here.”


Picking Up New Skills

An embodiment of lifelong learning, Mdm Teo is also planning to pick up English as her latest skill, to  broaden her knowledge and abilities. “I already know how to read and write Chinese. I think English would be helpful for me to communicate with others more,” she says.

Her journey after her stroke speaks to the idea that staying active is not just about physical health, but celebrating resilience, embracing new opportunities, and proving that age is no obstacle to starting a new chapter in life.

After all, Mdm Teo’s game is just beginning at 82.


Adaptive floorball activity is one of the 14 adaptive sports offered in the “Fit & Fun Adaptive Sports Toolkit” that the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) co-developed with SportCares, the philanthropic arm of Sport Singapore (SportSG). Adaptive sports are sporting activities that have been modified to enable persons of differing abilities, including wheelchair users, to participate actively. Download the toolkit at https://for.sg/fit-fun-toolkit.

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