There are an estimated 82,000 people living with dementia in Singapore in 2019, and the number is expected to go beyond 100,000 by 2030. As such, there is an increasing demand for caregiving support, training and public awareness of dementia. To increase the awareness of this condition, Dementia Singapore has turned to using virtual reality (VR) as a tool to enhance dementia awareness and training.
How the Course Came About
In March 2019, Dementia Singapore introduced a VR programme called Enabling “EDIE” (Educational Dementia Immersive Experience) by Dementia Australia to train more participants on the condition and how to better care for and understand their changes.
To find out if such tools can benefit the wider community, a study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of VR-based dementia awareness workshops. The results found that VR implementations have not only improved the attitudes towards dementia, it also increased knowledge and awareness, and promoted empathy.
As of June 2022, 15 trainers have helped more than 400 people through workshops and roadshows. Following the success of EDIE, Dementia Singapore embarked on the opportunity to use VR to enhance existing methodologies for dementia education and training.
Experience Dementia in Singapore (EDIS)
EDIS is a series of three virtual reality (VR) applications that provides a first-person simulation of a person with dementia living in Singapore. Developed by Dementia Singapore with support from The Majurity Trust, Agency for Integrated Care and Singapore Institute of Technology, EDIS gives users a realistic glimpse into the world of a person living with dementia and the unique challenges they face in the following environments.
In a Housing and Development Board (HDB) home: Walk in the shoes of Aunty Lucy, a person living with dementia, and learn about the anxieties and frustrations she faces at home. As you start to understand her world, find out how her living environment and having her family’s support enable her to live independently.
At a Daycare Centre: Adopting a person-centred care approach: Aunty Alice feels bored and restless at the dementia daycare centre as she feels ignored, and the activities are not to her liking. Learn how a care professional can make a person living with dementia feel respected and increase their sense of belonging by using the person-centred care approach.
Navigating Public Spaces — MRT Station and Supermarket: It can be a daunting experience for a person with dementia to navigate an MRT station that has multiple exits. Journey with Uncle James as he grapples with finding his way out of the station and completing his grocery shopping at a supermarket.
EDIS is accessible for all and available at DementiaHub.SG.
For dementia courses offered by Dementia Singapore, visit the Course Marketplace on AIC’s Learning Network. For course enquiries, please contact Dementia Singapore at 6377 0700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.