Work is central to our culture and is a source of self-worth and personal identity. Through work, a person can use his skills and abilities and gain recognition for his competence and contribution to his family and society. Being diagnosed with dementia does not erase the need for a sense of self-worth, belonging and inclusion, and acknowledged as a productive and valued individual of the community. It is important however, to know that it is more challenging for person with dementia (PWDs) to perform tasks successfully. There is little to no opportunities available in the community to support PWDs and enable them to use their skills to contribute meaningfully to society.
Apex Harmony Lodge recognizes that most elderly in Singapore has a strong work ethic and work constitute a major part of who they are; their self-identity. The Therapy Through Work ( TTW ) initiative was developed and designed to provide therapeutic effect with ‘Work’ as a medium for our residents who still find work meaningful and rewarding, supporting them to live their pre-dementia life as much as possible. Under TTW, work-related programmes are implemented with the aim to foster self-worth, purpose and dignity in our residents; key components of good mental health and inextricably linked to their sense of being a valued person. These activities promote independence as our residents learn to take on tasks themselves over time, thereby reducing incapacity and learned helplessness. These activities could also potentially stimulate and maximize their cognitive abilities like attention and recalling.
In every TTW programme, person-centred care forms the basis of programme design and delivery i.e. every resident is given the autonomy to choose the type of ‘Work’ activities he/she chooses to be engaged in. The Lodge supports and accommodates by ensuring that residents are able to carry out the tasks with success, i.e. within their maximized capacity and thereby creating rich experiences for them. Since the inception of TTW in 2013,’ Work’ has become an integral part of the vibrant and purposeful lifestyle of some residents in the Lodge. They look forward to every new day and enjoy the unique ‘ Work’ they are empowered to participate and enable them to contribute and being valued persons in society.