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Boosting dementia awareness

DBS/POSB has rolled out an AIC e-learning course on dementia to its staff via its cloud-based learning platform.

To help raise awareness for a dementia-friendly Singapore, DBS/POSB has rolled out Agency for Integrated Care’s (AIC) Dementia Awareness (Foundation) e-learning course to all 12,000 staff in Singapore via the bank’s cloud-based learning platform. It is the sole bank in Singapore to incorporate the course in its learning platform.

The course aims to equip staff with the skills to recognise signs of dementia in customers, identify ways to reduce the risk of dementia, and learn how to communicate with those with signs of dementia. Since its launch around mid-December, 90 percent of all customer-facing DBS/POSB branch staff have completed the e-learning course and can help notice warning signs to protect customers with dementia from potential issues such as financial neglect and exploitation.

“With Singapore being one of the fastest-ageing countries in the world, we recognise that it is our shared social responsibility to support our seniors by ensuring our staff understand how to handle age-related health issues, such as dementia, and in turn develop greater empathy for those affected,” said Yeo Wenxian, head of DBS & POSB Branch Banking.

“At DBS/POSB, we believe in creating a positive impact beyond banking. By providing learning tools to all staff to educate them on our wider social issues, we hope to create a more supportive and empathetic culture in Singapore – a culture that is well-equipped to take care of the needs of our seniors.”

Many have found the Dementia Awareness (Foundation) course and its annual refresher informative and timely. Kina Neo, branch service manager at DBS South Bridge branch, has been putting the skills into practice, with positive outcomes.

“As dementia does not only affect the elderly, learning how to spot dementia symptoms has proved to be a useful skill, especially among younger customers where signs may not be immediately obvious. I’ve also found the course’s guidance quite insightful, such as showing greater empathy when communicating with customers who may have dementia by engaging them in casual conversation, and speaking to them slowly and clearly,” she said.

The e-learning course adds to ongoing bank initiatives that aim to support Singapore’s ageing population and the growing number of people diagnosed with dementia in Singapore, which is estimated to affect 103,000 people by 2030. Since 2016, DBS/POSB’s frontline staff have been attending training workshops by speakers from the “Forget Us Not” initiative to gain a deeper understanding on how to communicate with persons showing signs of dementia.

The bank also organises mental wellness advocacy programmes at community centres across Singapore to raise dementia awareness and provide prevention tips for seniors. In addition, DBS/POSB regularly reaches out to seniors in the community to educate them on financial literacy, self-service banking, digital skills and active ageing.

 

(** PHOTO CREDIT: DBS/POSB)


 

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