Our featured personality, Shanta Subramaniam is the poster girl for active ageing. In her mid-sixties, Shanta works as a part-timer in a communications company and is a caregiver to her mother and aunt, who are in their eighties. Her husband passed away in his mid-forties 25 years ago; she has no children.

About keeping herself busy and learning new things

“I love art, especially water colour, and am trying my hand at acrylic painting and colour pencils. I’m also in a storytelling club at the Marine Parade Library called Story Line headed by storyteller Roger Jenkins; we meet on the first Friday of every month. I recently participated in a 398.2 Storytelling Festival held at Central Library and the National Museum where I met many other story tellers and exchanged tips and ideas. I learnt that finding my own voice is essential to being a good story teller and that’s where I seek to improve myself.”

About good diet and exercise

“I don’t eat out often. I enjoy cooking simple meals such as roasts or a one-pot meals. Vegetables are my favourite.  I like them cooked in any way, whether it’s stir-fry or roasted.  In addition to gym twice a week with a personal trainer, I also like taking walks. I don’t take any food supplements except for vitamin B complex, as recommended by my doctor. I have to be conscious of my weight and keep it constant; I envy those who don’t seem to put on weight in spite of eating large amounts of food!”

About caring for others

“I am the eldest of three siblings; my younger brother and I live in Singapore while my younger sister lives in Australia. My younger brother and I have been taking turns accompanying my mother to her medical appointments when my father passed away four years ago. I take turns with my cousin to accompany my aunt – who is single – to her medical appointments; she is currently recuperating from a fall.”

About active ageing

“It’s important to stay busy and active. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a fancy gym membership to keep fit; instead you can go for walks or swims. There are many opportunities to learn new things and take up hobbies only if you care to look them up; community clubs offer many interesting classes which are discounted for seniors like me! And most importantly have a good circle of friends that you can rely on and by friends I don’t mean the ones on Facebook!”

All photos are Shanta’s own.