As the first-of-its-kind in the world, CARA provides a safe-return function, curated care solutions, resources and lifestyle rewards for persons with dementia and caregivers in Singapore.
On 23 November 2021, Dementia Singapore has officially launched a pioneering dementia membership programme that provides personalised support across the journey of living with and caring for dementia.
Called CARA (an acronym for Community, Assurance, Rewards, Acceptance – the four main functions of the membership programme), the mobile application is a digital lifestyle and community platform that provides low-barrier access for persons living with dementia and their caregivers to connect to an ecosystem of solutions and support.
The key features of the CARA mobile application include:
- Safe Return
An initiative supported by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), CARA serves as a unique identifier for persons with dementia, providing assurance that members can continue to move freely and independently within a safe community, giving caregivers greater peace of mind.
- Connected Care Circle
With CARA, multiple family members in the care circle can link their CARA accounts to their loved ones living with dementia and receive Safe Return notifications.
- Tailored Rewards
CARA members can enjoy benefits suited to their care journey such as discounts and priority privileges from our carefully selected partners.
- Ecosystem of Solutions
Members can access a curated list of solution providers relevant to their needs. They can navigate options at their fingertips and tap on the community platform for further support and resources throughout their dementia journey.
Commitment in Dementia Care Innovations
Dementia Singapore CEO Jason Foo said CARA represents the organisation’s steadfast commitment in delivering the most innovative care solutions to the dementia community.
Mr Foo added: “With CARA, we aim to provide the best community care platform for persons living with dementia and their caregivers, now and into the future. What sets CARA apart from any dementia membership programmes in the world is the utilisation of technology to facilitate the safe return of a person living with dementia swiftly back to his or her family when things go wrong.”
CARA’s Safe Return function is built in collaboration with NCSS, who has decommissioned its Safe Return Card initiative after 10 years. Through CARA, when a person with dementia gets lost or wanders from his or her home or family members, members of the public who find him or her can scan the QR code on the CARA membership card and submit a report.
The CARA app will then notify all the caregivers tagged to the person that he or she has been found. In addition, there is also a call function for members of the public to call the caregiver directly, thus facilitating the safe return of their loved one with dementia.
The safe return function of the CARA card hopes to provide independence to persons living with dementia while giving peace of mind to their caregivers. In addition, to not overly rely on just one caregiver, the care circle allows for multiple caregivers to be contacted in times of need, alleviating the pressure on the primary caregiver.
“NCSS has enjoyed strong partnership with Dementia Singapore since the Safe Return Card was implemented in 2008. With CARA, caregivers and persons living with dementia will continue to enjoy peace of mind while enjoying access to stronger support and a wider range of resources and services enabled by technology. We have been working closely with Dementia Singapore to ensure a seamless transition to CARA, and we encourage more people to sign up as CARA members. Congratulations to Dementia Singapore for this important initiative!” said NCSS Chief Executive Officer, Ms Tan Li San.
“We are pleased to support Dementia Singapore in launching the innovative national dementia membership programme. CARA is in line with Agency for Integrated Care’s (AIC) mission to support our seniors, including persons living with dementia and their caregivers, to live and age well in the community. CARA can empower those affected by dementia to feel included, involved and supported. It also provides opportunities for Community Care providers, community partners and corporates who wish to contribute to be part of this journey in promoting a dementia-inclusive society. This technology enabler would definitely help in building Singapore as a dementia-friendly nation,” said Mr Tan Kwang Cheak, AIC’s Chief Executive Officer.
Future development of the CARA app includes a membership tier for professional caregivers, as well as a function to notify members of the public to look out for persons living with dementia who have been reported lost.
“We believe CARA will be a useful digital companion for the dementia community,” said Mr Stanley Ho, Dementia Singapore’s Director of Advocacy & Communications, whose team is leading the development of the CARA app.
Mr Ho added: “With CARA providing a key touchpoint that caters to their various dementia care needs, we hope people impacted by dementia can benefit from using this app and continue to lead fulfilling and enriching lives.”
CARA is supported by NCSS and the Agency for Integrated Care.
Be a CARA member for free!
Singapore residents who are living with dementia or are caregivers of a person living with dementia are eligible for the full CARA membership. Members of the public who want to support the dementia community can also join the membership programme, albeit with limited access to certain CARA features.
CARA members can also access specially curated dementia care solutions, lifestyle benefits and resources on the platform. CARA also incorporates Dementia Singapore’s one-stop dementia resource portal, DementiaHub.SG within the app.
Find out more about CARA in this three-minute video.
Not sure how to sign-up for a CARA membership? We have a step-by-step video to guide you through it!