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Mr Jeremy Ong, CEO, NTUC LearningHub


Ms Chew Li Lian, Executive Director, UOB


Distinguished Guests


Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my pleasure to be here today at the launch of the “Inclusive Customer Experience – Making a Difference for Persons Living with Dementia” training programme.



Dementia currently affects more than 55 million people in the world. In Singapore, it is estimated that 1 in 10 seniors aged 60 and above have dementia. With increased life expectancy and a rapidly ageing population, the number of persons living with dementia in Singapore is expected to increase to 152,000 by 2030. Actually, this is something that we are all very familiar with. If we ask anyone of us here, we would know of someone who has a family member with dementia.

3.    Earlier this year, Minister for Health, Mr Ong Ye Kung shared the Refreshed Action Plan for Successful Ageing to address the evolving needs and aspirations of seniors. This includes enhanced care and support measures to help persons living with dementia to age well in the community and enable them to lead purposeful and dignified lives. As you can see in the video just now, the impact is real and we want to as much as possible have them continue to live amongst us and the community. One such key initiative is to increase the number of community outreach teams, known as CREST, to support seniors and persons living with dementia by providing dementia education, basic emotional support and linkages to health and social services where necessary. We aim to increase the number of teams to 73 by March 2025, up from 61 currently.

4.    It is also important to recognise the needs of caregivers of persons living with dementia. There are various support schemes and services available, to ensure a better quality of life for both persons living with dementia and their caregivers. This includes post-diagnostic support services to assist caregivers in adjusting to the diagnosis and accessing appropriate support such as respite care options, to allow them to attend to their own well-being so that they can provide better care to their loved ones in the long run. You can imagine this is not an easy task, caring for someone with dementia. We will need to provide the structure.

5.    At the larger community, there are ongoing efforts to increase dementia awareness, to build an inclusive society for persons living with dementia. The Dementia-Friendly Singapore (DFSG) campaign, led by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) was launched by Second Minister for Health, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, on 20 November 2022. It aims to encourage residents, businesses, services, and the entire community to be more aware of dementia, so that persons with dementia and their caregivers will feel respected, valued and confident to continue living well at home. I thought the video was a good example of how the community understands and can come together. This includes adapting public spaces, facilities, and services to be more accessible and inclusive for persons living with dementia and allowing them to navigate their community independently and engage in social activities. I know in some estates, they created big signages or certain murals which the elderly can identify with. People in the community can play a significant role.

6.    Businesses and organizations can play a key role in supporting persons living with dementia and their caregivers, by training staff members on dementia awareness, communication techniques and creating supportive environments to foster an inclusive and respectful society.

7.    More corporates have stepped up to join the DFSG movement in recent years. For example, our local supermarket chains, NTUC FairPrice and Sheng Siong, public transport operators, SMRT and SBS, selected businesses and community touchpoints have been designated as dementia Go-To Points (GTPs). I have a couple in my estate and that has been wonderful. GTPs serve as resource centres which provide information on dementia, and act as safe return points to assist lost persons living with dementia to reunite with their family or return home safely. Currently, there are over 550 dementia GTPs islandwide.


8.    The “Inclusive Customer Experience” training programme is a prime example of the importance of close collaboration between agencies to improve the service experience of persons living with dementia and their caregivers.

9.    The curriculum, developed through multi-agency collaboration including NTUC LearningHub, UOB, supported by AIC, Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), and Healthcare Services Employees’ Union (HSEU), will strengthen the DFSG movement, through better service integration to meet the needs of communities.

10.  Not only does this training serve to upskill frontline staff in recognising customers with dementia, and providing personalised assistance with their banking needs, it also helps to better support caregivers by providing them with information and guidance on matters such as Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This can definitely help reduce stress and anxiety for the customers living with dementia and their caregivers, thereby creating a more supportive banking experience. UOB will be the first corporate client to come onboard this programme and is targeting to send 1,000 of their frontline staff for this training.


11.  It is heartening to see organisations come together to actively build an inclusive banking environment to enhance the service experience of their customers.

12.       As you can see from today’s event, everyone can play a part. Acts of kindness, empathy, encouragement, and support towards persons living with dementia, and their loved ones, go a long way to reduce stigma of the condition and help to build up their confidence and ability to live independently within the community.

13.        I hope that this is a good example that many more will follow. I hope that other  businesses will follow suit to empower their workforce with new skill sets – not only to keep abreast with industry trends and changes, but also to play a role in building an inclusive society where we look out for one another. As we build our hardware and infrastructure, let us also build our heartware that we can also provide services that provide inclusiveness and support for people who need them.

14.    Together, we can become a truly dementia-friendly Singapore. Wishing everyone here today good health. Thank you.

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