Through actively seeking the voices and perspectives of persons with dementia, ADA embarked on its journey to build an inclusive dementia friendly community in Kebun Baru. Some stand out initiatives include the Wayfinding Project, a mural-painting project at HDB blocks, and the “Talk to Me” collaborative series of videos featuring inter-generational conversations.
In building dementia friendly communities (DFCs), there has been an international shift towards including the voices and perspectives of persons with dementia, known as the asset-based approach.
As ADA embarked on its journey to build an inclusive dementia friendly community in Kebun Baru, we sought to utilise this approach, much like the town of Kiama in Australia, which has been declared by the World Health Organisation as the Gold standard of any DFC. Thus, a ground-sensing survey was conducted with the residents in Kebun Baru to gather insights and opinions on what a dementia friendly community should be like.
Since then, ADA has kicked off several inclusive initiatives with the grassroots and community partners in the humble neighbourhood of Kebun Baru, nestled within Ang Mo Kio. These include two highlight initiatives – the Wayfinding Project, and the “Talk to Me” collaborative series of videos featuring inter-generational conversations.
At the dialogue session between Mr Henry Kwek and Voices for Hope cohort 3 in November 2019.
Difficulties in wayfinding, particularly at void decks, was a point brought up by many caregivers and residents during the ground-sensing survey. In November 2019, ADA held a closed-door dialogue session between Mr Henry Kwek (Member of Parliament and Advisor for Kebun Baru Constituency) and participants from our Voices for Hope programme. From there, the team recruited two persons living with young-onset dementia to share their insights and advise us on the Wayfinding Project.
The pilot project aimed to paint murals on strategic walls at the void decks of HDB blocks in two Residents’ Committees (RC), namely Heights RC and View RC in Kebun Baru. The murals featured familiar, retro items to aid persons living with dementia and the elderly in easily recognising their surroundings and finding their way home. Together with the Nee Soon Town Council, Kebun Baru grassroots, artists, community volunteers and persons with dementia, the artistic project was finally completed at the end of March 2020.
Check out some of the Mural Paintings our talented artists painted along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4.
“Talk to Me” Video Series: Inter-generational Conversations To Reduce Dementia Stigma
To reduce negative stereotypes and raise dementia awareness amongst the Kebun Baru community, ADA collaborated with Kebun Baru CCMC, Child@Street 11 and St Luke’s ElderCare to produce a series of videos featuring conversations between children and seniors with dementia. With the tagline “Talk to me. I’m still me despite dementia”, the videos are in-line with efforts to influence residents to participate in conversations with their grandparents, elderly neighbours or friends who may be living with dementia. Besides the launch of the videos on various social media platforms, the videos will also be screened at TV panels to be installed at HDB lift lobbies in Kebun Baru.
The 4-part series of short videos showcases the seniors with dementia being “interviewed” by their mini-me partners, with questions such as “what were you like when you were young?”, “do you have any life advice for me?” and “how do you feel when you forget things?”
Watch all the videos at ADA’s official YouTube page.
Read more about the in-depth, ground-sensing survey that was conducted with Kebun Baru residents here. This research report was done in partnership with NUS.