27 February 2022
SMRT and AIC Enhance Dementia-Friendly Transport in Singapore
SMRT expands inclusive travel efforts network-wide, all train stations on North-South, East-West, Circle and Thomson-East Coast lines are Dementia Go-To Points by end of the year
- As part of SMRT Trains’ ongoing efforts to make the public transport network more inclusive, all 98 of its train stations across Singapore on the North-South, East-West, Circle, and Thomson-East Coast lines will be listed as dementia Go-To Points (GTP) by the end of 2022. Currently, 46 train stations in its network and all four SMRT-operated bus interchanges are dementia GTPs.
- Since 2017, SMRT has been collaborating with the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) to roll out dementia-friendly efforts under the Dementia-Friendly Singapore (DFSG) initiative. In 2019 and 20201, respectively, SMRT’s bus interchanges and train stations were the first public transport facilities in Singapore to be listed as dementia GTPs. In 2021, SMRT also became the first bus operator to have all its bus interchanges listed as dementia GTPs. These GTPs serve as resource centres and “safe return” points where members of the public can bring persons living with dementia who appear lost or unable to remember their way home. SMRT’s station and interchange staff are trained to identify and assist the persons who have been brought to them, and will assist to reunite them with their caregivers. To date, more than 3,000 SMRT staff have also been trained in helping persons living with dementia with the support of AIC and Dementia Singapore.
- Underscoring SMRT’s commitment to partner AIC in building inclusivity throughout the transport network, the two organisations plan to roll out the dementia-friendly “Kindness Seats” in 29 SMRT train stations. The seats are wrapped in brightly coloured decals to give a strong contrast between the seats and floor surfaces. This makes the seats more visible for seniors and persons living with dementia so as to prevent them from falling or knocking against edges, while encouraging fellow commuters to show kindness to someone in need. By June this year, a total of 45 of SMRT’s train stations will feature the dementia-friendly themed “Kindness Seats”.
- Mr Lam Sheau Kai, President, SMRT Trains said: “Our long-term ongoing partnership with AIC is an important example of how SMRT is working with key stakeholders to make travels in our network more friendly and inclusive to commuters with different needs. With robust and up-to-date training, each member of our frontline staff is a service champion, ready to assist the seniors and all other commuters with mobility needs.”
- Mr Tan Kwang Cheak, AIC’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “SMRT has been a forerunner in leading the way on how transport operators can play a part in making the nation dementia-friendly, and support persons living with dementia to live well in the community. Its continued commitment and support for the DFSG initiative through augmenting its transport services to become dementia-friendly and inclusive is commendable. AIC’s partnership with SMRT will go a long way to enhance the commuting experience of persons living with dementia and their caregivers, enabling them to commute safely and be supported when assistance is required. We look forward to future collaborations with SMRT and other transport operators in supporting our seniors to live well and age gracefully.”
- The tagline on the Kindness Seats “Lend a helping hand, Be a Dementia Friend” aims to highlight simple ways in which commuters can help and be a part of building Singapore to become a caring and dementia-friendly nation. This aligns with DFSG’s objective in rallying the society to be aware and keep a look out for those who require assistance such as persons living with dementia.
- The installation of these seat wraps was recommended during an audit to identify necessary dementia-friendly modifications to be made to facilities at SMRT’s train stations.
- The latest initiatives further deepen SMRT and AIC’s collaboration to improve the public transport experience for the seniors and differently abled commuters. The interchange and station audits conducted by AIC with SMRT also culminated in the implementation of several inclusive service initiatives to better serve commuters in need. These include WeCare rooms for commuters in distress, yellow strips on edges of staircase for better visibility to prevent falls, yellow strips on lift grab bar for better support, contrasting lift buttons, and non-reflective system maps.
1Redhill and Queenstown stations were the first train stations in Singapore to be listed as dementia GTPs.