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DBS/POSB staff help raise dementia awareness across Singapore


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In Singapore, one in every 10 persons aged 60 years and above has dementia; this rises to one in every two persons for those aged 85 years and above

Bank incorporates dementia awareness across branches as first corporate partner of Forget Us Not, an initiative by Lien Foundation and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

Some 600 bank staff visiting the elderly over three days to raise dementia awareness in conjunction with DBS' 48th anniversary

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SINGAPORE,20 July 2016 -

To mark DBS’ 48th anniversary, some 600 staff from across the bank are volunteering their services from 19 to 21 July by visiting homes of the elderly as well as senior activity centres to help raise awareness of dementia risks and prevention, conduct workshops on active ageing as well as perform needs assessment surveys. Staff will also be presenting gifts from DBS to the elderly. The initiative is part of the bank’s staff volunteer movement “People of Purpose”, which promotes values of leadership and empathy among staff by leveraging employees’ time and expertise to make meaningful contributions to communities.
 
Said Karen Ngui, Head of Group Strategic Marketing & Communications at DBS Bank, “As a purpose-driven organisation, we believe that it is imperative for us to create impact beyond banking. This initiative goes beyond a single volunteer engagement and goes to buttress other forms of support we have been providing the elderly. This includes training our branch staff in dementia awareness; hiring seniors to assist other seniors in our branches; providing free financial literacy workshops; and mobilising our digital banking channels to provide fundraising and revenue streams for charities that support the elderly.”
 
The needs assessment survey activity is an initiative conducted in partnership with Lions Befrienders, a VWO that aims to aid in the psycho-emotional, social, and physical well-being of the elderly, and Forget Us Not, an initiative by Lien Foundation and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) to raise dementia awareness. The survey is particularly crucial as the data will help Lions Befrienders to identify elderly who might be at risk of dementia while also assessing their current standards of living. Collecting this data is time-consuming work, and requires a significant amount of manpower. To assist with this work, DBS/POSB staff volunteers have also undergone training beforehand on how to engage with the elderly.
 
Lions Befrienders executive director Dr Chey Chor Khoon said, “At Lions Befrienders (LB), we really appreciate the strategic partnership built with the committed team at DBS since 2014, when DBS launched its People of Purpose volunteer movement. The seniors at LB have benefitted so greatly from the dedicated and warm support of DBS throughout the years. This year, we’re grateful for the innovative initiatives from the LB/DBS partnership; which resulted in synergy created on various fronts, from volunteers, to banking channels, and knowledge transfer.”
 
At workshops on active ageing, staff volunteers will help educate seniors at senior activity centres on dementia symptoms as well as risk factors and how to lower these risks. Staff volunteers will also join the seniors in craft-making workshops, with items produced going towards fundraising for Lions Befrienders.
 
Said Dr. Philip Yap, Director of the Geriatric Centre at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, “Active ageing involves regular engagement of our minds and bodies, not forgetting having rich social networks too. It reduces the risk of dementia and depression, keeps chronic ailments in check and increases a person's productive years. Active ageing benefits us, our families and the society, and should be a way of life for all.”
 
According to Forget Us Not, there are currently 45,000 persons with dementia in Singapore and it is projected that this figure will more than double to 103,000 by 2030. In Singapore, one in every 10 persons aged 60 years and above has dementia, while one in every two persons aged 85 years and above has dementia. With Singapore being one of the fastest-ageing countries in the world, DBS/POSB has been investing in communities and services to prepare itself for the future challenges of an ageing population.
 
“All of us need meaningful relationships and a sense of belonging to enhance our wellbeing. Similarly, our elderly with dementia need the support and understanding of the community to help them stay connected, have better quality of life and to age-in-place with dignity," said Mr Lee Poh Wah, CEO, Lien Foundation. "Just as society seeks to embrace children with special needs, we ought to include persons with dementia into our community’s realm of care so that they can continue to be part of our world. If it takes a village to raise a child, it certainly also takes a village to care for the frail elderly.”
 
Earlier this year, most of the bank’s branch and location managers attended training workshops conducted by Forget Us Not to better understand customers who have dementia. The training gives staff greater empathy on what it is like to have dementia, and advises staff on how to engage with customers with dementia. With the training, managers are in turn equipped to train the other staff in DBS/POSB’s branches on engaging with customers who may have dementia.
 
In 2009, POSB – in partnership with the Council for Third Age (C3A) – began the POSB Active Neighbours programme to hire and train seniors to assist others at POSB branches, with the overall aim of promoting an active lifestyle for older Singaporeans. Today, the bank has more than 80 Active Neighbours working at its POSB branches. POSB Active Neighbours also serve as digital ambassadors. Armed with iPads, they are able to assist and offer walk-in customers online banking options where applicable.
 
Images:
Piyush Gupta, Chief Executive Officer of DBS Bank, visits a senior activity centre to help raise awareness of dementia risks and prevention among the elderly

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About DBS
DBS - Living, Breathing Asia
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia, with over 280 branches across 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS has a growing presence in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's capital position, as well as "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings, is among the highest in Asia-Pacific.
 
DBS is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, and has been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney. The bank has also been recognised for its leadership in the region, having been conferred “Asia’s Best Bank” by The Banker and Euromoney, and “Asian Bank of the Year” by IFR Asia. The bank has also been named “Safest Bank in Asia” by Global Finance for seven consecutive years from 2009 to 2015.
 
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 22,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.

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