Seniors Festival offers three days of fun for older persons

Datuk Khadijah Ibrahim singing along at the first Amazing Seniors Festival in 2022. Photos: Amazing Seniors

Life can be filled with so much fun and usually, that’s how it starts for many of us. But we must also be able to continue to life our lives with fun ... even when we age and our body isn’t as it used to be.

To celebrate a fulfilling and fun life after 50, Amazing Seniors will be holding its second annual Seniors Festival “The Celebration (2023): Life Begins At 50” from Sept 29 to Oct 1, in conjunction with International Day of Older Persons.

The three-day event will be held at Atria Shopping Gallery, Petaling Jaya, from 11am to 9pm daily.

The festival focuses on those over 50 – and not 60, which is when retirement begins – because the organisers feel that it is important for Malaysians to embrace and be prepared for “the next phase of our lives”, says Amazing Seniors director and co-founder Penny Low, 53.

“When I was doing research for my Masters in Design Management, I wanted to design an ecosystem for seniors. I began to realise that many who are nearing retirement age aren’t really prepared for it,” says Low.

“Many haven’t really thought through their eventual retirement properly. Most have a positive view of it – they see the beautiful picture of rest, relaxation, and being stress-free. But, they don’t see the other side of things – the loneliness when they start to lose friends, family and their spouse; escalating medical or hospital bills; where to get the money to pay off housing installments; what are the things they need to be warned about (healthwise, foodwise, etc), and the things to look forward to that are safe and good for seniors,” she says.

Seniors, she says, are also fearful of nursing homes because of the information they have been served and, they aren’t aware of the choices that are available for them.

“There is also something known as ageing in place,” she adds.

Low says that for many, one of the scariest things about growing older is the loss of mobility. But most are unaware that there is technology (powered by AI) that can help them maintain their mobility.

“This is why it’s so important to be prepared earlier. Many don’t realise there is a lot of re-learning and they lose out when they aren’t prepared, such as how many suffered during the pandemic when they had difficulties adapting to doing everything online,” she adds.

The festival, she says, celebrates the wisdom, vitality, and creativity of our senior community.

“Festival-goers will be treated to three-days of hourly song, music, and dance performances, informative talks, interesting exhibits, warehouse sales and a community bazaar featuring arts and crafts, home bakers, home cooks, etc.

“The festival will also feature live performances of the Semi-Finalists and Finalists of the Talent Quest competition, a seniors-focused talent contest,” says Low.

There will also be entertainment galore where seniors and their families can enjoy these hourly performances, including a seniors’ fashion show, choir groups, ukulele performances, traditional Malay and Chinese dances, and line dancing.

Jasmin Amirul Ghani (left) and Penny Low, co-founders of Amazing Seniors.Jasmin Amirul Ghani (left) and Penny Low, co-founders of Amazing Seniors.

According to Amazing Seniors director and co-founder Jasmin Amirul Ghani, 50, there is even more for seniors to celebrate this year.

“We’ve introduced Talent Quest this year. It’s the first ever talent contest for seniors aged 50 and above, and the semi-finals and finale performances will be presented at the festival,” says Jasmin.

There will be nightly performances at 7.30pm on Fri (Sept 29) and Sat (Sept 30) and the finale performance will be on Sun (Oct 1).

“In a society that often marginalises older individuals, Talent Quest seeks to break barriers and redefine what it means to be in a talent competition, and is providing a platform for seniors to perform and showcase their talents,” she says.

Celebrity judges Datuk Khadijah Ibrahim and Joanne Kam will be part of judging panel for the finale on Sunday. There will also be a People’s Choice Awards where members of the public can vote for their favourite performer via the Amazing Seniors app. Results will be announced on Sun (Oct 1) night during the finale performance,” she adds.

As part of the Seniors Festival opening ceremony on Fri (Sept 29), five seniors who have made a remarkable contribution to society and have been a source of timeless inspiration, wisdom and positive influence, will be honoured.

“This year’s Timeliness Inspiration Awards will be presented to Datuk Mohd Nor Mohd Khalid (Lat), Ivy Josiah, Datuk Khadijah Ibrahim, Datuk Ras Abiba Radzi, and Datin Paduka Sister Enda FMM, during the opening ceremony. Seniors can also get their Lat books autographed by the talented cartoonist himself after the opening ceremony..

The event is free for those with the Amazing Seniors app, but registration is recommended. Seniors can enjoy free giveaways worth RM 300,000 by participating in the Mall Walk and Lucky Draw. Just download the Amazing Seniors App to participate.

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