DBS/POSB boosts staff training to raise dementia awareness

Singapore.26 Dec 2019

Sole bank in Singapore to incorporate Agency for Integrated Care’s Dementia Awareness course in its cloud-based learning platform

Singapore, 26 Dec 2019 - 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. 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 people with signs of dementia. Since its launch last week, 90% 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.

Promoting active ageing

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[1]. Since 2016, DBS/POSB’s frontline staff have been attending training workshops by speakers from the “Forget Us Not” initiative[2] 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.

In the region, over a third of Asia’s population is expected to be over the age of 60 by 2050, making Asia home to the world’s largest ageing population[3]. To raise awareness on active ageing, DBS has launched season two, episode six of its award-winning miniseries DBS Sparks. The episode is inspired by LongGood, a Taiwanese healthtech social start-up supported by the DBS Foundation. Using motion-sensing technology, cloud capabilities and gamification design, LongGood has developed rehabilitation training programmes and physical fitness assessment tools that allow patients to be treated with high quality rehab service anytime, anywhere. View the Sparks miniseries that has been inspired by true stories: DBS.com/sparks

[1] Subramaniam M, Chong SA, Vaingankar JA, Abdin E, Chua BY, Chua HC, Eng GK, Heng D, Hia SB, Huang W, Jeyagurunathana A. Prevalence of dementia in people aged 60 years and above: results from the WiSE study. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2015 Jan 1;45(4):1127-38. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25672767
[2] “Forget Us Not” is an independent nationwide initiative organised by Lien Foundation, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Alzheimer’s Disease Association. It aims to raise awareness of the growing number of persons living with dementia and their unique needs, with an objective to build a community of care where the condition is normalised and accepted as a disability. DBS/POSB has onboarded the most number of staff for a financial institution.
[3] United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019). World Population Ageing 2019: Highlights (ST/ESA/SER.A/430). Retrieved from https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/ageing/WorldPopulationAgeing2019-Highlights.pdf


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DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.

Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney, “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker and “Best Bank in the World” by Global Finance. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for 11 consecutive years from 2009 to 2019.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 28,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.