Freestyle Libre (Continuous Glucose Monitoring)

Hello Fellow SHC members old n new,

My name is Leon and have been a SHC member for more than 10 years. The purpose of my posting today is to bring to your awareness of a nation wide campaign of a collaboration between Abbott Laboratories and Diabetes Association Singapore. I am one of the appointed ambassador/promoter of this campaign. This campaign is also announced in CNA news 2 weeks ago. .

They are introducing a revolutionary CGM ( Continuous Glucose Monitoring)program with a medical sensor that no longer required blood sampling and is painless. The first step to manage diabetes is is to monitor your blood glucose level and then manage it with diet and medication. Many diabetic person don’t do the blood sampling testing for fear of the needles and the hassle. In fact I observe many patient take a indifferent attitude towards their diabetic condition. Currently doctors prescribe medications that need you to take after every meal. Medication have side effects. With this program, you can manage your diabetes with diet first and then medication if necessary. This device is given free to all diabetes patients during this campaign period upon successful registration.

I urge all suffering diabetic persons to take the opportunity to participate in the program. The link to register is in the article near to the end. Diabetes is sometimes called the Mother of all diseases with its linkage to a host of future medical problems (blindness, amputation, kidney failure,etc) if it is not managed well. The campaign is for a limited period only ending in October.

So please don’t hesitate or proscratinate. Submit your registration now.

Thank you for your attention.

Leon Lau

Part Time Job for retiree

Firstly, I like to thank Terence for allowing me to post this here.

Job details as follow
Hourly rate : SGD 8.00

Job Scope : Receive and arrange goods ( Tables and chairs not more than 8 and other simple set up.

Duration : 2 days

Period : To be advised by agency. Likely July over weekend

Location : Will be advised by agency. Will be near your home

Skill Required : 2 hours paid training will be given

It is an Essential Service. So no problem of the permission

If you are keen, submit your name and phone number to my phone or email
me at

Think it is a fun way for retiree to earn some pocket money if you think it is suitable for you. A great opportunity to get out of the house for some exercise and get paid.

Meanwhile stay safe, stay healthy.

Leon Lau

Cancer incidence with ageing population . 50% will get cancer.

Our Prime Minister has recently gone for his prostate cancer surgery. He is another example of how the elderly is more easily inflicted with cancer.
If he can get cancer twice in his life time what are our chance ??

I have reviewed and heavily edited a very thorough research paper done in UK to be of interest, relevance and wake up call for us SHC members

One in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives , according to the latest forecast.

There will “never be one single magic bullet” to cure all cancers and age is the biggest risk factor for most forms of the disease.

The new figure, which replaces the previous of one in three, is the most accurate forecast to date from Cancer Research UK .

Prevention must also play a role in the effort required to reduce the impact of the disease in coming decades, the charity said.

But as more people benefit from improved healthcare and longer life expectancy, the number of cancer cases is expected to rise.

This new research estimating lifetime risk replaces the previous figure, calculated using a different method, which predicted that more than one in three people would develop cancer at some point in their lives.

The charity said age is the biggest risk factor for most cancers, and the increase in lifetime risk is primarily because more people are surviving into old age, when cancer is more common.

The lifetime cancer risk for women (47.55%) is lower than that of men (53.5%), while the combined lifetime risk is 50.5%.

According to the previous method of calculation, i n 1980 the combined risk was 27.2%, in 1990 it was 32.7%, in 2000 it was 37.1% and in 2010 it was 41.8%. The charity believes that the old method of calculation underestimated the risk.

Lifetime cancer risk is also expected to increase further in the future.

While the biggest risk factor is age, other lifestyle factors include smoking, obesity, diet, tanning and sunburn, overdiagnosis, lack of exercise and child-bearing patterns.

Just over a quarter of all deaths are caused by cancer, so while one in two people will develop cancer at some point, it is still believed that around one in four people will die from cancer.

We’re living longer and that means we’re more likely to develop a range of age-related health issues.

How near a cure for cancer is ?, The research said: “There will never be one single magic bullet that treats … cures all cancers. I just don’t … I cannot foresee a time when that’s going to be the case. But already we’re able to cure a number of cancers now.”

There are more than 200 different types of cancers and they are all quite different.

The single biggest thing that affects whether a patient is cured is whether their disease is caught early enough..

Too many cancers are diagnosed very late and once they’re more advanced it becomes much harder to cure. We can treat them, we can extend life but it becomes much harder to cure if we’re catching the cancers very late,”

“Cancer is primarily a disease of old age, with more than 60% of all cases diagnosed in people aged over 65. If people live long enough then most will get cancer at some point.”

Breast cancer is the most common form in women, prostate cancer is the most common form in men, and bowel cancer and lung cancer are common in both sexes.

Cases of cancer are likely to rise with an ageing population – so the focus is on earlier diagnosis, improving care and tackling preventable cancer.

Another separate study said 30% of cancer happen to the most fit and healthy person. This sadly is term “biological badluck” due to healthy cell mutation

Still we should be in control of the 70%. Hope you find this article useful.


Reflection on 2014, Ushering in 2015

Has 2014 been kind to you? Which will bring about the famous quote ” Dont ask what the country can do for you but ask what you can do for the country ?
2014 has seen the spillover of the crisis from 2013 eg like Euorpean stagnant economy, maritime dispute in South China Sea and a host of
unsolvable or yet to be solved geo-political issue. 2014 has also seen the emergence of new global and regional issues, like the Ukraine, ISIS, Ebola, MH17 and MH370. Truly will the early the year attention grabbing missing MH370 ever be found or goes down as a greatest mystery in Aviation history.
What new issues or threat 2015 will surface.
On an individual level, how have you achieve your individual goals if you have set one for 2014. I have written off the remaining months
for 2014 and plan for 2015. .

Among my various goals, financial, social and health, the good life I am having have caused me to fail my health target relative to 2013.
Total Cholestrol is high, Triglycerides, BMI are off though marginally. A Fail is still a Fail. The various dinner outing by SHC, and various other communities is not helping with my diet
The month of Dec has heavy schedule of feasting. Thus got to excuse from being discpline for a while before I abstain from ”
Eating the wrong food for the wrong reason, especially paid for or free.

Noted that it is always the same few who air their opinions. Why are people afraid to share ?
Among the various way to prevent dementia which currently have no cure is to stay socially active.
It does not matter whether your opinion reveal you to be naive , biased, shallow or wise. It is more important to be heard.
That is how you learn

One important lesson I learned in my early working career is “it is not critical to know everything before starting on something”

Among the great quotes on leadership, a recent one by a Chinese political leader is
” If is not you, then who” It remind me of my MBA class day when the USA main professor tell the administration confidentially that we students
are better off not pursuing the degree when he cannot even get a volunteer to be the class monitor for weeks. MBA is meant to produce leader, he said
I volunteered and thus organized the trip to USA campus studies and also the grand convocation ceremony in Singapore.
I am still fond of those memories.

So for those introvert which I was before, start the 2015 with a resolution to be a more extrovert personality.
Live life with conviction, confidence and compassion.

I am looking forwards to 2015 where I embark on new projects and seeing my other project reaching maturity or closing. Especially to bring my health target back on track. For those who didnt do health check or screening because retired already, make it a 2015 resolution too.


Memorising Password

I believe we all have problem remembering growing number of passwords. Totally forget the less frequently used one and need to write in for reset.
Worse still cant write in or contact the administrator and forever cannot login. Or cant re-register cos username mentioned is taken and the admin replied you are registered already.

I have a simple way to overcome this be it PIN numner or passwords.
Find a word that have ten letters that have NO REPEATED alphabet. I use the word VOLKSWAGON as an example
Here is how you can use any of this word to code your numeric PIN.
Eg the word ……………. V O L K S W A G O N
You then attribute the number to it ……………………. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Assuming your numeric PIN is 5378 . You then code it into SLAG and write it down in your mobile phone memo or I even scribble it on the card itself. I actually index all my password (coded) in my phone for easy retrieving anytime anywhere

Thus I don’t need to commit it into memory. Can also use it to code password that are alphanumeric character.
Just underscore or bracket the alphabet that need not change. Eg your password is now N5W8V3. Your coding will be

Not charging fee for using the above method, smile..
If you people find this helpful, in my next post I will give you more such words to choose from if I get more than 5 endorsement. :-)


How Not To Retire


I have been comptemplating retirement for a long while and my concept of retirement has been
constantly evolving as I look around , “listen to my body” and observing retirees.
I have seen many friends and neighbours who became so bored that they have become a nuisance to their spouse and children and to others!
A few of them have solved the problem by going back to work. They were able to do so because they have a skill/expertise that is still in demand. The rest live aimlessly or are waiting to die – a very sad situation, indeed.
There is no right or wrong but I have come out with some thoughts for sharing.

4 Pre-Conditions for Retirement

You should retire only when you fulfil these 4 pre-conditions:
1. Your children are financially independent (e.g. they got jobs),
2. You have zero liability (all your borrowings are paid up),
3. You have enough savings to support your lifestyle for the rest of your life,
AND most importantly,
4. You know what you would be doing during your retirement.
DO NOT retire till you meet ALL 4 Pre-Conditions. And of course you should not retire if you enjoy working and are getting paid well for it!
The problem cases I know of are those who failed to meet Pre-Condition #4.
When asked, “What would you be doing during your retirement?” some replied, “I will travel/cruise and see the World”. They did that, some for 3 months and then ran out of ideas. The golfers replied, “I can golf every day.” Most could not because they are no longer fit to play well enough to enjoy the game. Those who could, need to overcome another hurdle – they need to the find the “kakis” to play with them.
It’s the same with mahjong, bridge, badminton, trekking and karaoke – you need “kakis”! Most could not find others who share their favourite game and playing/singing alone is no fun.
Thus if you are into group sports or games, you must form your groups BEFORE you retire. You need to identify your “kakis”, play with them and discover whether they “click” with you.
The less sporty “can read all the books bought over the years”. I know of one guy who fell asleep after a few pages and ended up napping most of the time! He discovered that he did not like to read after all. We do change and we may not enjoy the hobbies we had.

Routine Activities To Fill Your Week
For most people, your routine work activities are planned for you or dictated by others and circumstances. When you retire, you wake up to a new routine – one that you yourself have to establish as nobody else would do it for you!
The routine to establish should keep your body, mind and spirit “sharpened”. A good routine would comprise:
a) One weekly physical sport – you need to keep fit to enjoy your retirement. If you are the non-sporty type, you should fire your maid and clean your home without mechanical aids. Dancing and baby sitting are good alternatives.
b) One weekly mind stimulating activity – e.g. writing, studying for a degree, acquiring a new skill, solving problems or puzzles, learn or teach something. You need to stimulate your mind to stay alive because the day you stop using your brain is the day you start to die.
c) One weekly social activity – choose one involving lots of friends/neighbours. Get yourself accepted as a member to at least 3 interests groups. Unless you prefer to be alone, you do need friends more than ever as you get older and less fit to pursue your sport.
d) One weekly community service activity – you need to give to appreciate what you have taken in this life. It’s good to leave some kind of legacy.
With 4 weekly activities, you got 4 days out of 7 covered. The remaining 3 days should be devoted to family related activities. In this way, you maintain a balance between amusing yourself and your family members. Any spare time should remain “spare” so that you can capitalise on opportunities that come your way like responding to an unexpected request to do a job or to take advantage of cheap fares to see places or to visit an exhibition.

Mind stimulating activities
Most judges live to a ripe old age. They use their brains a lot to decide on cases.
Mind stimulating activities are hard to identify. They require your will to do something useful with the rest of your life, a mindset change and the discipline to carry it through. Find new field to learn or new hobbies.

Your Bucket List
Despite your busy routine, you will at times be bored. Then it’s time to turn to your Bucket List.
Your bucket list contains a list of things to do before you kick the bucket. They are not routine and are usually one off activities. You need them to have something to look forward to. These include anniversaries, trips (and pilgrimages), visits to friends and relations abroad, re-doing your home, attending conferences (related to your hobbies), acquiring a new set of expertise. 4 such activities that are spaced our quarterly would be ideal.

Retirement Is A Serious Business
If you can afford to retire and want to, do prepare to live to your fullest. You need to be fit to enjoy it – therefore get into shape now. You do not want to get up on a Monday and wonder what to do each week, therefore identify your set of weekly routine activities now and try them out to confirm that they are the activities that you will be looking forward to doing each week, week after week. You bucket list of “rewards” or “projects” or “challenges” is needed to help you break away from the routine thereby make live worth living. Start listing what you fancy and refine it as you chug along in your retirement.

I hope the above help for those who are planning of retiring. I am looking forwards to my retirement to embark on my various personal projects.


Mango: The New Diabetes Cancer Buster

Do you believe in this? The leading guy who did the research is a PhD fella and not a medical doctor! All this while I thought blood sugar will dramatically increase with consumption of Mangoes…. try this and then measure your blood sugar! Looks like the world is turning upside down now!
Incredible news!

Jonathan Benson, staff writer.
(NaturalNews) The most popular fresh fruit in the world, mangoes are a whole lot more than just a delicious, refreshing treat produced by nature. As evidenced by copious scientific research, mangoes are also a powerful medicinal food, as they contain nutrients that can help clear up skin, promote eye health, stave off diabetes, and even prevent the formation and spread of cancer.

Research recently presented at a meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), for instance, revealed that eating mangoes every day can help moderate and even lower blood sugar levels, despite their natural sugar content. This is good news for people with type 2 diabetes who may benefit from consuming mangoes regularly as part of a low-sugar diet.

For their study, researchers tested the effects of mangoes on a group of obese animals, some of whom were given 10 grams of freeze-dried mango every day for 12 weeks. At the end of three months, the blood sugar levels of those animals that consumed mango were compared to those that did not consume mango. Based on the data, mango consumption was found to result in a significant decline in blood sugar levels.
“Although the mechanism by which mango exerts its effects warrants further investigation, we do know that mangoes contain a complex mixture of polyphenolic compounds,” says Dr. Edralin Lucas, Ph.D., author of the study.
Similar research out of Australia found back in 2006 that eating mango can also help decrease inflammation and resulting high cholesterol, as well as block the formation of various health conditions included under the banner of metabolic syndrome. In essence, mangoes actually work better than cholesterol drugs at naturally balancing and optimizing cellular function throughout the body.

“We don’t know yet how the whole thing’s going to play out but we know some of the individual components (of mango) activate these receptors and even inhibit them,” said a doctor from University of Queensland about the effects of mango consumption on cellular processes. “That could end up with positive nutritional health benefits for diabetes and high cholesterol.”
And again in 2011, researchers from Oklahoma State University found that mango consumption helps lower insulin resistance and improve glucose tolerance in test mice. The same study also found that mangoes help normalize lipid levels throughout the blood, which in turn can help prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.
Eating mangoes can also help you avoid cancer.
But the health benefits of mango do not stop here. Science has identified more than 4,000 different antioxidant polyphenols in the plant kingdom, and many of these polyphenols are present in mangoes. The primary benefit of these polyphenols is that they scavenge damaging free radicals and protect cells against damage, which is believed to facilitate and even promote cancer.

“If you look at [mango] from the physiological and nutritional standpoint, taking everything together, it would be a high-ranking superfood,” says Dr. Susanne Talcott, who together with her husband discovered back in 2010 that mango compounds target both colon and breast cancer cells.
“What we found is that not all cell lines are sensitive to the same extent to an anticancer agent. But the breast and colon cancer lines underwent apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Additionally, we found that when we tested normal colon cells side by side with the colon cancer cells, that the mango polyphenolics did not harm the normal cells.”
In other words, mango compounds effectively target and eliminate harmful cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone, a phenomenon that is unique to nature and nowhere to be found in pharmaceutical-based medicine. Chemotherapy and radiation, for instance, which are the two most popular conventional treatments for cancer, damage healthy cells along with malignant cells, which is why the treatments are a failure as far as long-term survival is concerned.

This goes against our “logical” mind but nature continue to surprise our understanding.
But we just need to remember this wisdom ” Your way is not my way and You will not understand my way”


Purpose in Life adds years to Life

Studies have suggested that finding a purpose in life lowers risk of mortality above and beyond other factors that are known to predict longevity.
A study by Carleton University (Canada) collected data over 6,000 subjects on this thorugh a follow up period of 14 years. Over that period 9% of the samples
(569 of the particiants) died. Those who have died had reported a lower purpose in life and fewer positive relations than did survivors.

Greater purpose in life consistently predicted lower mortality risk across lifespan.
Conclusion : Having a purpose in life appears to widely buffer against mortality risk across the adult years.

SHC I believe also contribute to members in providing some purpose to live for. For those who are inactive elsewhere and here,
do hope more would come out of the shell to join the activities. Some may find the actvities not suitable or relevant to your situation
but what can be as basic as having wholesome fun, exercise with various groups, traveling.


The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

Planning ahead to protect your interests .
How many of us know about this and its relevance to all aged citizens.
The Mental Capacity ACt which came into effect on 1March 2010 enables individual plan ahead and empowers them to appoint proxy decision makers to act on their behalf if they lose their mental capacity due dementia, stroke or an accident.

As a proactive safeguard, you can make a Lasting Poer of Attorney (LPA) to appoint a person to act on your behalf in the key araes of your personal welfare and financial matters.

I was told of a touching story from the Office of Public Guradian, a unit of Ministry of Social and Family development whereby
an individual who is lucky to do just that appointed a distanct relative he trusted while he is still sane.
When he suffered a severe storke and left paralayzed, he was able have good medical care arrangement through this relative holding the power of attorney to act on his best interest over his closest relatives who are only keen to see him gone and divided up his assets.

It is a simple one or 2 page form to be filled and lodged with the Office of the Public Guardian. I can give a talk and benefit only a handful who turned up. But I hope among the thousands of SHC members out there reading this, it can be usefu to your situation.



Dear SHCians

There is a on going issue on our CPF money with the government and I would like to share this which I have also just learned.
For those who have made nominees in the CPF, check the status again to confirm that your beneficiary will be able to receive CASH instead of :

1) Nominee to receive moneys in his/their Special Account (SA) or Retirement Account (RA)
– first subject to the prevailing Minimum Sum limit, and thereafter into Medisave Account
(MA) subject to the prevailing Medisave Contribution Ceiling

2) Nominee to receive moneys in his/their Medisave Account first, subject to the prevailing
Medisave Contribution Ceiling, and thereafter into Speciakl Account or Retirement
Account, subject to the prevailing Minimum Sum

There are 3 Type :
C – Cash Nomination Scheme
E – Enhanced Nomination Scheme
S – Special Needs Savings Scheme

Print out your status and check if your nominee has 100% or divided into portion if you have more than one child and that under (Type*) you see the (C) which is cash, and that under
Mode^ it is blank, otherwise, you have to email to CPF and check with them.

It is better to have all this done while one is still alive to avoid any problem for your next of kins