Dementia-Friendly Singapore movement launched to provide more community support for persons with dementia
The movement intends to spur and generate more dementia-friendly efforts through partnerships with more organisations and the community.
The Dementia-Friendly SG (DFSG) movement will see strengthened dementia friendly networks, where individuals and communities can play a part in supporting and caring for persons with dementia.
Speaking at its launch campaign on Sunday (Nov 20), Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health Masagos Zulkifli called the movement a national effort to support people with dementia.
DFSG comes as the next phase of the Dementia-Friendly Singapore initiative first launched by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) in 2016.
Under the initiative, both organisations developed Dementia-Friendly Communities (DFCs) where people are aware of dementia, and understand how to make neighbourhoods safe and easy for those with the condition.
In DFCs, business and services are respectful towards those with dementia. There are also resources for early recognition and support for persons with dementia, so that they are identified early and care and support are provided to them.
“A community where persons with dementia and their families feel safe, comfortable, loved and respected.” said Mr Masagos.
One key feature of the DFCs are Go-To Points, that serve as “safe return” points where you can bring persons with dementia who may appear lost and are unable to identify themselves or their way home.
The staff at the Go-To Points will assist in reuniting them with their caregivers. These are places that also serve as resource centres to provide useful information and resources on dementia.
Mr Masagos explained that all transport nodes by public transport operators SMRT, SBS Transit, Go-Ahead Singapore and Tower Transit Singapore will be listed as Go-To Points by end 2022.
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He added that the movement will strengthen established dementia-friendly networks through better service integration.
Mr Masagos recalled previous efforts of community support for dementia, including Walk2Remember which raised awareness on dementia and those impacted by it. He also mentioned Esplanade’s “Sing Out Loud!” project which engaged persons with dementia and their caregivers through singing.
He said: “We hope that [the movement] will spur the development of more Dementia-Friendly Communities, provide more dementia resources through go-to-points, and generate more dementia-friendly efforts through partnerships with more organisations.
“Collectively, these efforts will translate into better care for persons with dementia.”