SINGAPORE, 31 JULY 2019 – Homage, the on-demand home caregiving services platform that combines qualified care professionals with smart technology, today announced its collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA) of Singapore to provide dementia training for the company’s Care Professionals.
The partnership marks the launch of the Homage Care Pro Scholarship Program, which was initiated to help provide opportunities for the company’s registered Care Professionals to improve their skills when taking care of people with specific needs. In the first instalment of the program, Homage worked with the ADA to conduct a four-day course on “Work with clients with dementia” with 12 Care Professionals, where they attended classroom-based experiential learning activities and underwent competency-based assessments to handle various situations when supporting people living with dementia.
This program also signifies the latest in the company’s ongoing efforts to invest in its pool of Care Professionals. Through it, Homage has provided scholarships for its most engaged Care Professionals to attend the course in order to provide them with upskilling opportunities.
“Each person with dementia is different; many of them do not share the same symptoms. Through this training program, we were able to better address how we can plan care for those with dementia in a more holistic way, while also learning about adding our own personal touch to treat them with the same level of dignity and respect as everyone else,” said Christina Quah, a Care Professional from Homage.
“The training program was a definite eye-opener for me. Hearing from the experts made me better understand my personal caregiving experience, and apply that information to foster better care and understanding between myself and the care recipient living with dementia,” said Nathierah Kunju, a Care Professional from Homage.
According to the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore, it is estimated that over 80,000 people in the country are living with dementia, with this number expected to grow over 100,000 by 2030. It is becoming an increasingly serious healthcare issue which now affects one in ten people aged over 60 in Singapore, and a recent study jointly done by the ADA and Singapore Management University (SMU) highlights that more needs to be done to tackle the stigma that surrounds the condition.
In a survey conducted on 5,600 people in Singapore (comprising persons with dementia, caregivers and the general public), 72% of those with dementia feel rejection and loneliness, 50% of them feel that they cannot be open about their condition and over 56% of them say that people treat them as less competent. The same study showed that 56% of the general public rate themselves low in dementia knowledge and more than 54% feel uncomfortable interacting with persons with dementia – including 30% of caregivers who feel embarrassed when needing to take care of their loved ones with dementia in public.
“The stigma towards dementia has largely been caused by the lack of awareness towards the condition, along with limited interaction, leading to fear, discomfort, or even apathy,” said Koh Hwan Jing, Head of Academy of the Alzheimer’s Disease Association.
“We want to change this perception by creating an environment where those living with dementia do not have to feel any shame, especially with caregivers whom they need to interact with daily. We are therefore glad to be working together with Homage to equip its Care Professionals with the right knowledge and skills to suitably care for those living with dementia.”
Launched in 2016, Homage was established to help seniors obtain more personalised and holistic care that allows them to age at home with grace, control and dignity. The company does this by using its proprietary matching engine that pairs seniors with the best care professionals for their needs and managing care via the convenience of a mobile app. Homage, via its newly-launched Care Pro Scholarship Program, aims to provide its Care Professional with a platform to improve the way they care for people with specialised needs, in order to help tackle a serious problem facing Singapore’s society today.
Homage’s partnership with the ADA also signifies the company’s efforts to tackle the problem of dementia on the ground, as part of its wider initiative to work with more public and private sector partners to expand the delivery of care to other societal segments in Singapore.
“With this partnership, we are on the right track mobilising a caregiving force that can cater to the different needs of Singapore’s aged community,” said Melissa Chan, the Head of Community and Outreach at Homage.
“However, our work with the ADA is merely the first of the dementia-centred initiatives we have in our pipeline, and we are looking to work closely with more partners in the ecosystem to holistically raise the standard of care that we can give to people living with dementia.”
“Dementia is one of the central issues facing Singapore’s seniors and greater awareness towards those affected by this condition – especially caregivers – will become more crucial as the nation ages,” said Gillian Tee, the CEO and co-founder of Homage.
“At Homage, we believe that improving the situation is centered around empowering our caregivers to be equipped and experienced in well-rounded dementia care, and so we are pleased to work with the ADA to train our care professionals so that they are better able to care for more people with dementia with the grace and dignity that they deserve.”
While the first instalment of the Homage Care Pro Scholarship Program will focus on dementia, the company in the long term is looking to work with more community partners to improve care within other specific areas, such as stroke care, Parkinson’s Disease care, palliative care and max-assistance transfer training.
Homage is an award-winning personal care solution that combines curated and trained care professionals with smart technology to manage and provide on-demand holistic home and community-based caregiving to seniors and adults, allowing them to age and recover at home with grace, control and dignity.
As a leading care services provider, Homage’s core services include Care Assessments, Activities of Daily Living (ADL) assistance, Home Nursing Procedures and Home Rehabilitation services, including Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy.
Operating in Singapore and Malaysia, Homage works with care recipients with a range of mobility and medical conditions, including chronic and terminal illnesses such as Dementia, Stroke, Parkinson’s and cancer, helping them be more mobile and functional as well as providing social and personal care. Homage has previously collaborated with government, health and financial organisations to distribute and deliver home- and community- caregiving services.
For more information, visit https://www.homage.sg
About the Alzheimer’s Disease Association
Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA) was formed in 1990 because of a growing concern for the needs of persons living with dementia and their caregivers. The Association hopes to reduce stigma by increasing awareness and understanding of dementia; enabling and involving persons living with dementia to be integrated and accepted in the community, and leading in the quality of dementia care services for persons living with dementia and their families.
Striving towards a dementia inclusive society through our four strategic service pillars; Centre-Based Care, Caregiver Support, Academy and Community Enabling, ADA aims to advocate and inspire the society to regard and respect persons living with dementia as individuals who can still lead purposeful and meaningful lives.
For more information, please visit https://alz.org.sg/
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- Creating a dementia-inclusive society in Singapore. (2020). Retrieved 31 July 2019, from https://www.todayonline.com/commentary/creating-dementia-inclusive-society-singapore