One in 10 Singaporeans aged 60 and above currently suffer from dementia and the Institute of Mental Health predicts that by the year 2030, this number will increase to 100,000. With this rise in the number of people with dementia, there has been a shift in the model of care for such patients, from centralised institutional care to distributed community care.
A team of Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Centre (CTPCLC) fellows comprising Year 2 NUS Engineering and University Scholars Programme (USP) student Jazreel Low, Year 4 NUS Arts and Social Sciences students Lau Wan Ling and Jocelyn Joy Gwee, and Year 2 NUS Arts and Social Sciences and USP student Tan Jia Yi investigated this issue, conducting interviews with over 150 residents in Kebun Baru to determine how to improve the estate for dementia patients. Feedback from the residents included infrastructure improvements to facilitate dementia patient’s mobility, enhance social interaction between dementia patients and the community, and increase the number of dementia-friendly services in the estate.
This, along with seven other projects focusing on finding novel solutions to social issues in Singapore were showcased at the annual Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Centre Symposium at NUS University Town on 10 May. Other projects included a perception study on immigration and immigration integration in Singapore, an investigation on the effectiveness of peer-support groups for ex-offenders who have been released from prison, and a qualitative study on the increase in money lending activities among foreign domestic workers.
At the event, the teams presented their findings to Guest-of-Honour Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Chua Thian Poh, Chairman and CEO of Ho Bee Land, faculty members and students.
“These projects have not only added to our students’ learning experience, but have also provided them with the kind of invaluable out-of-class education that I’m sure they will remember for a lifetime,” commented CTPCLC Director Associate Professor Chng Huang Hoon.
CTPCLC has inducted over 400 students as fellows since its inception in 2011.