The Development and Implementation of a Volunteer Work Programme for People with Young Onset Dementia to Promote Occupational Participation in Singapore
(2016) The Development and Implementation of a Volunteer Work Programme for People with Young Onset Dementia to Promote Occupational Participation in Singapore, no. 124.
Dementia is a progressive illness affecting the brain, resulting in impairments in various cognitive functions. It is often accompanied by the deterioration in emotional control and social behaviour. Young onset dementia is typically defined as the onset before the age of 65 years. There have been a three-fold increase in the number of people with young onset dementia in the last five years in Singapore. A review of the literature presented the negative effects of young onset dementia on a person's participation in activities that are meaningful to them as well as their psychosocial wellbeing. In contrast, participation in meaningful activities, specifically volunteer work, has been shown to increase motivation, develop a positive outlook on life and boosts self-esteem. Occupational therapy is a profession that closely collaborates with various client groups to empower them to participate in activities that are personally meaningful. The unique perspectives on a person's meaningful activities and the skills to analyse an activity puts occupational therapists in a prime position to support people with young onset dementia lead fulfilling lives. This proposal outlines a Singapore-based volunteer work programme, 'Manage-a-Garden'. 'Managea- Garden' will support people with young onset dementia participate in meaningful activities. AWWA Dementia Day Care Centre (AWWA DDCC) will partner with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) Community Garden to develop this programme. Participants will be recruited from AWWA DDCC and will manage KTPH Community Garden once a week for 24 weeks. They will be buddied with volunteers from KTPH Gardening Club. 'Manage-a-Garden' will be facilitated by a programme leader who is a fully registered occupational therapist employed by AWWA DDCC. It is intended to establish the programme within the KTPH Community Garden to promote its sustainability.