Last Updated: November 10, 2017
Have you given a thought about what kind of life you’d be living when you grow into your golden years? Perhaps… a life of retirement, just lounging on your rocking chair and watching soap operas all day. Sounds a little boring to you? My thoughts exactly.
But at Reach Community Cafe, the senior volunteers there are thinking the exact same thing. They wanted a more fulfilling and active lifestyle.
The Reach Community Cafe at Bukit Batok West Avenue 4 is a concept that strives to create an environment for the elderly to interact freely and engage in a social setting.
The senior volunteers themselves are a whole lot of energetic people. They are like the working parts of the Energizer Bunny, so enthusiastic and full of life; I felt like a sloth when I stood next to them. They operate as the cooks and baristas in the cafe, switching up the menu every week to offer a different experience for customers.
The cafe aims to familiarise the seniors with Western cuisine, as most of them aren’t accustomed to it. Instead of the usual kopi-o and kopi-c, the cafe introduces them to the world of how we millennials drink on the daily — Starbucks-style.
The cafe serves lattes and cappuccinos, with thick and foamy milk. According to the seniors I spoke to over there, it seems to be a huge hit. Careful now, Starbucks, there’s a new player in town.
To encourage the elderly to explore the realms of different cuisines, some of the food served includes pasta, crepes, and waffles with scrambled eggs.
Although the cafe is mainly targeted at seniors, they don’t shy away from younger people. Perhaps one day, make some time to accompany your grandparents to the cafe, just to get a glimpse of what being in their shoes is like.
But the food isn’t the main focus here. The primary intention is to allow the seniors to have a comfortable, safe space to engage in social interactions. The cafe spurs them on to lead a more vibrant life, even at an older age.
Just have a quick look at the interior design of the place, and you can tell it’s not dull at all. Posters of superheroes, rows of manga books, and even a large TV for entertainment; the place is just a house full of laughter and lively colours.
With a pay-as-you-wish system, the cafe doesn’t make the customers feel pressured to pay a certain amount for the food. They understand that some seniors might be more cautious with their expenditure, so they don’t force anyone to pay what they wouldn’t. It’s a really admirable concept.
When you do decide to visit the place with your grandparents, know that it’s not going to be a sluggish day. The never-ending laughter that surrounds the room is proof of that. Also, please at least pay something for the food served to you, even though it’s pay-as-you-wish. Be a nice person; it’s for a good cause, after all.
Just keep an open mind and heart, and be willing to let yourself into the lives of your grandparents. Besides, you just might catch a glimpse of your own future too.
Expected damage: Pay-as-you-wish