By Kebun Baru Citizens Consultative Committee (CCC)
Getting around and getting home may not be an easy task for some people living with dementia. In Kebun Baru, we have 6,871 seniors aged 65 years and above, and they make up 20 percent of the population here. Therefore, one of the key focuses for Kebun Baru is to enable the seniors to age-in-place, keeping the seniors well and healthy at home. To make this happen, the seniors will require good support at home and in the neighbourhood to manage their health conditions such as dementia.
We embarked on the dementia-friendly project with Dementia Singapore in 2018 with two simple goals in mind – (i) to raise dementia awareness, reduce the stigma and improve attitudes towards the condition (ii) support people living with dementia and their loved ones, empowering them with the ability to live a good quality of life at home. Hence, the birth of the inclusive Dementia-Friendly (iDFC) project in Kebun Baru.
Finding My Way Home
The Wayfinding Project is one of our iDFC project efforts to help the seniors to find their way around and back home in Kebun Baru. The 37 beautiful reminiscence murals around Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 and 4 are not just decorative pieces but serve as strategic markers to help people living with dementia to find their way home.
These murals are designed in consultation with people living with dementia who are aware of their own cognitive abilities and needs. Considerations ranged from the number of colours used in the murals, size of the block numbers, to the height of the mural and the images used. The murals need to be clear and not confusing, supporting residents with dementia as they navigate around the neighbourhood and back home.
The murals are also owned by the seniors living in the blocks. They are the proud ‘Kebun Baru Picassos’ that own this piece of work!
You Are Not Alone – A Dementia-friendly Kebun Baru
Caring for loved ones with dementia can be overwhelming and the lack of support can leave the caregiver feeling helpless. In Kebun Baru, we have a caregiver peer-support group, House of Joy, that brings 15 caregivers and their loved ones together. An initiative supported by Dementia Singapore, Kebun Baru Community Club (Hope Collective) and Lien Foundation, the peer-support group provides a listening ear and assistance for caregivers with their day-to-day care duties.
Kebun Baru is a close-knit neighbourhood, with many residents living in the estate for decades. Everyone knows each other and age together. Enabling them to age-in-place will mean that we must make their home and neighbourhood conducive and inclusive. As neighbours to people living with dementia, put yourself in their shoes and try to understand their needs and help them along. Together, we can build an inclusive dementia-friendly community!
Support our cause to raise awareness of dementia this September. Join our 21-day virtual steps challenge as part of the
Dementia Singapore Walk2Remember 2021 event from 1st to 21st September 2021.
This event is part of the Ang Mo Kio Partners’ Network efforts to create a more inclusive and Dementia Friendly Community (iDFC) in Ang Mo Kio town.
Click the image below to find out more!
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Issue 11: August 2021