Reliving fond memories
The National Heritage Board has a number of activities to engage seniors such as the Reminiscence Walks and the Conversation Starter Kit for Seniors.
The National Heritage Board (NHB) offers a number of activities to engage seniors such as the Reminiscence Walks and Conversation Starter Kit for Seniors.
The Reminiscence Walks is under NHB’s Silver Hubs @ Heritage Institutions initiative which presents meaningful and enriching heritage experiences for seniors at NHB’s three heritage institutions – the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Malay Heritage Centre and Indian Heritage Centre – in collaboration with partners from the health and social care sectors.
Jointly developed with SAGE Counselling Centre, Reminiscence Walks seeks to enhance the psychological and social well-being of seniors vis-a-vis guided tours of selected traditional trades that can be found in historic precincts. Through the process of reminiscence and recall, seniors can be socially and emotionally engaged through meaningful conversations, where they are encouraged to share their stories and memories.
In addition to the guided tours, the programme involves the training of senior volunteers to be Reminiscence Walks ambassadors. At the end of the training sessions, these ambassadors will conduct guided tours for other seniors around the vicinities of the heritage institutions (i.e. Balestier, Kampong Glam and Little India), and facilitate conversations triggered by the sights, smells and sounds experienced along these walks.
The first series of Reminiscence Walks last year focused on the Balestier area and the guided tours commenced in December 2018. In April this year, NHB and SAGE Counselling Centre introduced Reminiscence Walks for Little India and Kampong Glam. Seniors who are interested to find out more about Reminiscence Walks may enquire with SAGE Counselling Centre at 6354 1191.
Conversation Starter Kit for Seniors
The Conversation Starter Kit is designed for seniors, and is co-developed with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and four social services organisations, including TOUCH Community Services, Care Corner Seniors Services, SAGE Counselling Centre and Yong-en Care Centre. It is a programme under NCSS’ Empowering Seniors Project and was launched in 2017.
The kit features a selection of carefully curated images featuring places and landmarks from the National Collection as well as structured questions to initiate and engage seniors in conversation – both as a means to encourage seniors to share their personal memories and stories as well as to facilitate meaningful dialogues between seniors and their caregivers. The kit also enables the young to overcome any reservations they might have about interacting with seniors, by providing them with a starting point for meaningful conversations.
Shared 76-year-old Ainon Bte Abass, “I was excited when I saw a picture of an old bus. It reminded me of how I used to hide from the bus conductor as I wanted to save my fare to buy rojak to eat. I was playing hide-and-seek on the bus. The volunteer and I could not stop laughing. I was so naughty then. I started telling her in simple English how I was like in the past. She was attentive and asked lots of questions. I also learnt a lot from her.”
The kit was rolled out in phases to various senior activity centres and eldercare agencies in 2018. It is also available from the Visitor Services counters at the three heritage institutions (i.e. Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Malay Heritage Centre and Indian Heritage Centre) and visitors may borrow the kit for the duration of their visits.
(** PHOTO CREDIT: National Heritage Board)