Reminiscent therapy room to help dementia patients

Residents of the Society for the Aged Sick, Madam Hong Poh Choo (left), 73, and Madam Tan Swee Hieng, 83, in the Reminiscence Therapy Room.
Residents of the Society for the Aged Sick, Madam Hong Poh Choo (left), 73, and Madam Tan Swee Hieng, 83, in the Reminiscence Therapy Room. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Residents of the Society for the Aged Sick sing karaoke in the Reminiscence Therapy Room. The room was designed to replicate a typical home in the 1960s and 1970s.
Residents of the Society for the Aged Sick sing karaoke in the Reminiscence Therapy Room. The room was designed to replicate a typical home in the 1960s and 1970s. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - The Society for the Aged Sick (SAS) today officially opened a Reminiscence Therapy Room, designed to aid residents with dementia.

Co-designed by the SAS and the National Healthcare Group (NHG), the purpose built room - triple the size of a HDB bedroom - includes vintage memorabilia such as a gramophone, old crockery and a sewing machine.

One of the walls is adorned with a collection of heritage photographs which depict scenes such as samsui women at work and the bustling road outside the old MPH building.

Dr Adeline Chuo, Senior Consultant, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Institute of Geriatrics and Active Ageing in Tan Tock Seng Hospital, helped in conceptualising the room.

"The room creates a familiar environment that keeps (patients') calm... It makes the life of carers and patients more pleasant and more manageable," she said.

Madam Hong Poh Cho, 73, demonstrated the room's functions at the official opening as she nodded her head and tapped her fingers to the Chinese ballad "The Moon Represents My Heart".

It was playing on a new television that was part of the refurbishments to a room previously used for exercise and arts and crafts.

The room also includes a cooking station with a fake gas stove where residents can role-play preparing their favourite dishes as part of the weekly therapy sessions.

Madam Hong is one of 400 elderly residents at the SAS, 25 per cent of whom are suffering from dementia.