Red Crowns’ Dancing Queen: How 88-Year-Old Aunty Irene Thrives

Caregiver Kai Kai (L) and Aunty Irene (R) pose for a photo. Photo by Charlene Winfred.

“I’m really happy. I enjoy myself here more than I enjoy myself anywhere else.”

Aunty Irene is the go-getter we all want to be. At 88, she’s living her best life, going out on her own daily to meet friends for brunch or afternoon tea, or maybe just take a bus or train to explore different areas of Singapore. She'd come to live at Red Crowns over two and a half years ago, owing to family circumstances,  and totally embraced co-living with her housemates. She's the other residents’ counsel, shares recipes and meal ideas with the caregivers (especially Kai Kai, whom she has developed a close bond with), and helps everyone around her to resolve problems and bring fun back into their lives.

Aunty Irene takes our founder and CEO Joshua through a lively series of line dance steps in the living room of her Red Crowns home. Aunty Irene used to teach dancing many years ago, and still loves to dance for fun. Photo by Charlene Winfred.

Aunty Irene has great enthusiasm for Singapore’s public transport network. She knows the intricacies of island-wide bus routes like the back of her hand. If you find yourself a little lost trying to get to the other side of the island, Aunty Irene is here for you. She’s endlessly curious about everything around her, making new friends easily and always finding reasons for a good hearty laugh. When we first met, we were gobsmacked to learn her age.

“But Aunty Irene, you could be in your 50s!” we exclaimed, taking in the coiffed hair, flawless make up and perfectly lacquered nails. She goes for regular salon appointments.

“I like to do things that make me feel good, and enjoy myself,” she said. In a time where holistic health and community connection concern everyone from young influencers to national policy makers, Aunty Irene is well ahead of the game. She enjoys nothing more than the company of friends old and new, a spot of dancing, and making sure she’s always ready to engage with the world. She is the living embodiment that doing what gives us meaning and pleasure is key to health, vitality and longevity.

Aunty Irene bursts into laughter while teasing this writer and the video crew who were interviewing her. Photo Charlene Winfred.

“I hope I live to a hundred,” she confesses. “There is so much I still want to do!”

What does she love about living at Red Crowns?

“Freedom,” she answered. “Here I can do what I want.”

With that, she checked her hair, slipped on her heels, bid us goodbye, and walked out the door. She had arranged to meet some friends for a late afternoon tea, and that was not to be missed.

Watch Aunty Irene in action in this video feature of seniors who are aging with vitality in Red Crowns.

Redcrowns aims to help you live your senior years happily.
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Date Published
June 24, 2024
Charlene Winfred