Applying the K.I.N.D Gesture & C.A.R.E Approach - DementiaHub.SG

Applying the K.I.N.D Gesture & C.A.R.E Approach

dementia-hub-sg
Home / Member of a community or corporation / All About Dementia / Communication & Interaction / Applying the K.I.N.D Gesture & C.A.R.E Approach
  • 13 Min Read

We may encounter persons living with dementia in different situations depending on our social or work roles.

Watch this prize-winning video produced by Vinn Bay and Tee Boon Leng as part of the Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) conference in March 2009. As you watch, take note of how some members of the public interact with the person living with dementia who is lost in her neighbourhood, and how she feels because of these interactions.

Source: Health Promotion Board

Here are resources on how to apply the K.I.N.D Gesture and C.A.R.E Approach if you meet them in some scenarios listed below.

Though some of these resources are made for persons in specific social roles such as caregivers or service staff, they are also useful videos for the general public to watch since they may be similar to other scenarios encountered by anyone.

Understanding how people interact with persons living with dementia in different capacities also allows us to understand how we as a community can work together to build a more inclusive community.

In Retail & F&B Settings

Retail Settings

This video shows how the K.I.N.D Gesture and C.A.R.E Approach of interacting with persons living with dementia can be applied in retail settings.

Source: Dementia-Friendly Singapore Initiative

These are some scenarios where retail staff may encounter persons living with dementia:

Scenario 1: Someone has difficulty handling money at the point of purchase

What to do


Approach them in a friendly manner

Offer your help

If they are paying by cash, offer to help them count the right amount.

If they are paying by a card or mobile application that requires a Personal Identification Number (PIN) which they may have forgotten, politely suggest that they pay by cash instead.

You can also offer to keep their items first so they can return to purchase them when they have enough cash or recalled their PIN.

What not to do


Rush the person during payment.

Show signs of annoyance or impatience with gestures, facial expressions, or voice, such as folding arms, frowning, or raising your voice.

Scenario 2: Someone has forgotten to pay for their items before exiting the store

What to do


Approach them with a smile.

Ask politely if they may have forgotten to make a payment for the item.

If they are unable to pay, help to contact their family members for assistance.

Alternatively, retain the item and let them go.

Maintain a calm and polite demeanour.

What not to do


Raise your voice at them.

Scold and accuse them of stealing as this will cause them distress.

Scenario 3: Someone looks confused and unsure of the items which they wish to buy

What to do


Approach in a friendly manner

Assist them to identify the items by using visual cues such as the store’s specials and advertisements as appropriate.

If the store stocks the item, bring them to the specific area at which it is displayed.

If the item is not available in store, let them know that it is not available.

Suggest alternative products if appropriate.

What not to do


Ignore or brush them off.

Ridicule or embarrass them.

Scenario 4: Someone repeatedly purchases the same item(s) within a short span of time (e.g. a few times on the same day)

What to do


Politely remind them that they have bought the same items before.

If they realise that they do not need the items, help them return the items to the shelves.

If this is a recurrent issue (e.g., if the person comes back over many days), politely request for their family members’ contact details to inform them.

Note: Only request for them, with their consent, to present you with any identification that they may have. Do not physically search them without their consent.

What not to do


Question them about why they are buying the same items repeatedly.

Attempt to correct them if they insist they had not made those purchases.

Food & Beverage (F&B) Settings

This video shows how the K.I.N.D Gesture and C.A.R.E Approach of interacting with persons living with dementia can be applied in F&B settings.

Source: Dementia-Friendly Singapore Initiative

These are some scenarios where F&B staff may encounter persons living with dementia:

Scenario 1: Someone requests for an item that is not on the menu

What to do


Explain that the item is not available.

Show them the menu again and offer options that are similar to their requests.

It could be helpful to write the order down on paper to verify the order with them.

If the customer looks unable to decide or is confused, offer a seat where they can wait and calm down and take some time to decide.

What not to do


Show signs of impatience such as folding arms, raising your voice, or frowning when taking orders.

Scenario 2: Someone claims that their order is wrong when it is being correctly served to them

What to do


Politely show them a record of the order, such as the order chit.

What not to do


Argue or insist that they are wrong.

Scenario 3: Someone has trouble articulating or deciding their orders

What to do


Let them take their time.

Show them that you have their full attention by listening attentively, e.g. by repeating their order back to them.

You may try to assist if they have problems finding the right words for their orders.

You can cue them by using the menu and have them point to the item.

What not to do


Rush them to order their food.

Show annoyance, impatience, or a condescending attitude.

Public & Private Transport Settings

These are some scenarios where staff working in transport settings may encounter persons living with dementia:

Scenario 1: Someone gives an address that does not exist
Scenario 2: Someone does not disembark at the terminal or looks disorientated

What to do


Stay calm and patient.

Ask the person where they would like to go, and if possible, ask them to describe their destination.

If the address they provide does not exist, inform them politely.

If the address they provide is valid, guide them to the appropriate train/bus/taxi service. You may try to work with your transport teams to guide the person living with dementia safely back home, especially if the person’s route may involve multiple instructions and require coordination between personnel at different stations.

If they are unable to decide and look confused, offer help by asking them for the contact details of their family members.

If their address is available, offer to bring them home.

If no address can be found, stay calm and contact the police for help.

Note that you may only request for them to present you with any identification they may have. Do not physically search them without their consent.

What not to do


Ask them to get off the vehicle.

Leave them on their own without helping them.

Show annoyance or impatience such as frowning or raising your voice.

Scenario 3: Someone has insufficient balance on their fare cards and are confused about what to do

What to do


Bus captains may suggest that they pay by cash and help them to count the correct fare.

MRT station staff may direct them to the top-up machines and guide them.

If the person is not carrying money or fare cards, contact the nearest passenger service. centre/interchange for help.

Request for the person’s identification (e.g. I.C., EZ-Link card, NCSS card, or other cards) to contact their family members and get help.

If no one is available, remain calm and contact the police.

What not to do


Rush the person to pay up.

Show annoyance or impatience such as frowning or raising your voice.

Scenario 4: Eating and drinking on public transport

What to do


Politely show them the relevant signs in the bus or train for them to better understand what you are trying to tell them.

Politely remind them that they are on public transport.

If they continue to eat or drink, ask for help from HQ or supervisors.

What not to do


Scold them or confiscate their food and/or drink.

Ask them to get off the vehicle and leave them on their own without helping them.

For Bus Operators

This video shows how bus operators can interact with persons living with dementia.

Source: Dementia-Friendly Singapore Initiative

For Train Operators

This video shows how train operators can interact with persons living with dementia.

Source: Dementia-Friendly Singapore Initiative

For Private-Hire Vehicle Operators

This video shows how private-hire vehicle operators can interact with persons living with dementia.

Source: Dementia-Friendly Singapore Initiative

Bank Settings

These are some scenarios where staff working in bank settings may encounter persons living with dementia:

Scenario 1: The person forgets their Personal Identification Number (PIN) and/or signature

What to do


If the person forgets their PIN, politely ask if they would like to sign instead.

If they are unable to sign (as per bank records) or appear confused, request for their family members’ contact details or search the bank’s records to inform the family and request for their help.

Allow the person time to enter their PIN or sign.

What not to do


Rush them to make a decision.

Show annoyance or impatience such as frowning or raising your voice.

Scenario 2: Someone has trouble articulating their requests

What to do


Let the person take their time to think.

Politely ask if they would like to make a deposit, withdrawal, or a transfer.

Ask for their identification document, and check their transaction history to be able to guide them.

Use bank pamphlets as a way to cue them and find out about their requests.

What not to do


Rush the person while they try to articulate their request.

Show annoyance or impatience such as frowning or raising your voice.

Scenario 3: Someone comes in repeatedly within a short span of time (e.g. a few days) to withdraw substantial amounts of money

What to do


Politely inform them that they have made similar withdrawals earlier.

If they cannot recall having done so, show them their transaction records.

If necessary, consider showing them the CCTV footage of their recent visits.

What not to do


Create the impression that they are being stopped from withdrawing money.

Attempt to correct them if they insist that they had not visited the bank earlier.

Scenario 4: Someone mistakes the bank for another bank, or one that they used to go to in the past

What to do


Politely inform the person of your bank’s name and provide directions to their bank.

In the event that the bank is unfamiliar or is no longer in existence, bring them to a quiet area and contact their family members for help.

Ask for help from a supervisor if needed.

What not to do


Brush the person off or ignore them.

Ridicule the person.

Places of Worship

These are some scenarios where people in places of worship may encounter persons living with dementia:

Scenario 1: Someone performs prayers or rituals incorrectly or repeatedly
Scenario 2: Someone repeatedly visits places of worship or loiters around the premises looking lost

What to do


Start a casual conversation to find out whether they stay nearby.

If necessary, assist by bringing them back and make a note of this to the full-time staff in case this happens again.

If you notice that they continue to appear distressed or disorientated, try to find out the contact details of their family members and offer help.

You may need to contact the police if family members cannot be contacted.

Note that you may only request for their identification; do not physically search them without their consent.

What not to do


Attempt to correct them even if they have performed the rituals wrongly.

Make them feel that they are not welcome.

Question their rationale for coming to the place of worship.

One Day of Navigating Community Spaces as a Person Living With Dementia

Persons living with dementia participate in community spaces just as other community members do.

The following video shows an example of how one such person may navigate community spaces while living with their condition. It shows both positive and negative examples of how others may respond after recognising the ABCDs of Dementia Progression.

As you watch the video, place yourself in the shoes of the community members encountering this person living with dementia, and see the differences simple actions can make to these persons living with dementia.

Source: Dementia-Friendly Singapore Initiative

Skip to content