There are currently a number of DFCs in Singapore which include Yishun, MacPherson, Hong Kah North, Bedok, Queenstown, Fengshan, Bishan, and Kebun Baru. Yishun was the first DFC in Singapore, set up by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and the Lien Foundation under the Forget Us Not initiative. Under this initiative, KTPH provided training to over 20,000 people to help them better identify and understand dementia.
In DFCs, people in the neighbourhood are aware of dementia and understand how to better support persons living with dementia and their caregivers. Businesses and services are encouraged to make adjustments that will have a positive impact on the lives of persons living with dementia and their caregivers. An example of a dementia-friendly business venue in a DFC is Kim San Leng Food Centre in Bishan. Some stallholders at this food centre have been given training on how to recognise signs of dementia. They also have checklists to display in their stalls on signs of dementia and pointers on how to interact with persons living with dementia.1
At the heart of any DFC are the volunteers known as Dementia Friends. This network of Dementia Friends is an essential building block in creating a DFC. These volunteers are trained with the knowledge and skills to help persons living with dementia continue living independently and help families of persons living with dementia keep an eye on their loved ones. Today, more than 130,000 individuals from over 120 groups, businesses and organisations are aware about dementia under Dementia-Friendly Singapore and Lien Foundation’s Forget Us Not initiative.
Having a community that supports persons living with dementia helps these persons, their caregivers, and the people around them feel welcomed and respected. This can improve their overall health and well-being and reduce the strain on long-term care services. An enhanced quality of life in turn lowers the cost of dementia care in Singapore.
The strength of DFCs depends on networks of Dementia Friends who keep a look out for persons living with dementia in neighbourhoods and extend a helping hand when needed. If you would like to play a part, sign up as a Dementia Friend today!