21 Sep 2023
As the world observes World Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September, it is an opportune moment to consider the broader issues related to our ageing society in Singapore. At his 2023 National Day Rally, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shared the challenges and opportunities the island-nation faces as it transitions from an “aged society” to a “super-aged” one. In 2030, one in four Singaporeans will be aged 65 years old and above, as compared to one in five today.
With a looming “super-aged” status, there is a need to rethink our cityscapes, services, and community engagement to suit the needs of an elderly population. At Frasers Property, we recognise that we play a critical role in bringing generations together to bond over shared experiences at our properties, and thereby strengthening the social fabric of the community.
Shining a Light on Dementia
Clockwise from top left: Our retail properties, Northpoint City, Century Square and The Centrepoint lit up in purple on 21 September in support of World Alzheimer’s Day.
As part of Dementia Singapore’s #ShineForDementia and in commemoration of World Alzheimer’s Day, Frasers Property Singapore (FPS) has undertaken the symbolic step of lighting up three of our malls – Century Square, Northpoint City and The Centrepoint – in a radiant shade of purple. For the first time, the light-up initiative which seeks to raise awareness of the condition and the people impacted by it extends beyond iconic landmarks and moves into the heartlands.
Ms Soon Su Lin, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Frasers Property Singapore, said: “Through our participation in #ShineForDementia, we hope to inspire the community to reflect, converse and take actionable steps towards creating an inclusive and supportive environment. Over the last year, we have incorporated new initiatives, such as our Inclusion Champions Programme, to support our diverse community better. We have also been looking at new avenues to support the wider initiatives for our ageing society, such as the Lion Befrienders IM-OK Volunteering Programme. Driven by our purpose – Inspiring experiences, creating places for good. – the lit-up buildings underscore our commitment to being a vital part of the national conversation on ageing and inclusivity.”
Mr Bernard Lim, Director of Advocacy and Communications for Dementia Singapore, said: “Last year, the #ShineForDementia light-up featured iconic buildings in the city centre. This year, we wanted to expand the initiative’s advocacy and awareness-building efforts to include popular spots in the heartlands.”
“That’s why we are very grateful that Frasers Property Singapore has come on board as a partner for this year’s showcase. Northpoint City and Century Square, located in Yishun and Tampines respectively, will light up in purple to mark World Alzheimer’s Day.”
The Inclusion Champions Programme: Crafting Inclusive Spaces for All Ages
Our participating tenants and employees taking part in a Dementia Awareness Workshop led by Dementia Singapore.
In partnership with SG Enable, Dementia Singapore and St. Andrew’s Autism Centre, FPS has designed the Inclusion Champions Programme, a comprehensive multi-module training programme for frontline employees and retail tenants.
Divided into three crucial modules – “Disability Awareness Talk”, “Dementia Awareness Workshop”, and “First Responder Training for Autism-related Incidents” – the fully sponsored programme is tailored to equip these Inclusion Champions with the tools and knowledge they need to make public spaces more accessible and comfortable for everyone.
Participating stores and our customer service counters will serve as dementia-go-to points to assist and support those living with dementia. All in all, there will be 29 dementia go-to points across our malls when the programme is rolled out.
The inaugural batch of Inclusion Champions includes well-known brands like Better Vision, Cathay Cineplexes, EC House, Eu Yan Sang, Golden Village, Metro, OSIM, Scoop Wholefoods, Shaw Theatres and Toys “R” Us, alongside FPS staff.
By pioneering the Inclusion Champions Programme, FPS sets a benchmark for inclusivity in shared public spaces and serves as an invitation to like-minded organisations to join in a united, national effort to take progressive steps towards creating spaces for all.
Lions Befrienders IM-OK Volunteering Programme: Taking Steps Towards a Connected, Empowered Senior Community
In Singapore, we partner Lions Befrienders and support their IM-OK Programme through a corporate volunteering project . The programme complements ongoing government efforts to improve the health and well-being of seniors, specifically in the areas of digital literacy and social connectedness.
Employee volunteers in Singapore are trained by the IM-OK team from Lions Befrienders and form teams to help seniors navigate the IM-OK device. This device empowers seniors to self-monitor their well-being and share it with their next of kin, thus reducing the risks of accidents, enhancing their sense of security, and reducing isolation.
Pictured above are our Frasers Property employee volunteers, including Soon Su Lin (far left in blue), CEO of Frasers Property Singapore, with their assigned seniors at the volunteer session.
The IM-OK programme aims to empower seniors to be active partners in their own well-being. They learn to independently operate the IM-OK device, gaining a measure of autonomy and confidence that goes beyond the specific functionalities of the device itself. The volunteers offer more than technical guidance; they offer companionship, social interaction and the human connection that is so vital for mental wellness at any age, but particularly so in the later stages of life.
Driving Greater Connectedness & Inclusivity in an Ageing Society
Our efforts dovetail with the Singapore government’s Action Plan for Successful Ageing and resonate with the three crucial pillars – care, contribution, and connectedness. We hope our actions form the bricks and mortar for a foundation where seniors are not just statistics on a demographic chart but valuable members of a vibrant, multi-generational society.
World Alzheimer’s Day serves as a poignant reminder that there are immediate and future challenges requiring thoughtful solutions. It is also an occasion for optimism – a day to recognise and celebrate our progress towards becoming a society where all individuals can age with dignity and grace, whether they are dealing with Alzheimer’s or any other aspect of ageing. Through its multifaceted initiatives, we are taking progressive steps to create inclusive spaces and inspire shared experiences for everyone within our communities.