Danny and Daniel, want to get us all talking about dementia this September! Not only is it World Alzheimer’s month, as part of the Virtual Enabling Festival 2020, Danny and Daniel are taking their Little Red Couch interviews online! 

Meet four talented and creative social entrepreneurs and find out what fueled their inventions and actions to make life better for people living with dementia.

Danny and Daniel will first be joined this Tuesday evening 29th September by Christel Goh, designer and entrepreneur behind ‘Play Hua Hee’ – a game designed to stimulate brain cognition and encourage all important bonding between family members. Did you know ‘Hua Hee’ means happy in Hokkien? 

On Tuesday 6th October your host Guan will venture ‘where no caregiver has gone before’ [star trek theme tune]… Joined by tech entrepreneur and all round curious and creative mind, Eugene Soh, aka known as The Dude. Eugene will be speaking about his VR social start-up ‘‘Mind Palace’ that creates VR experiences for those living with dementia. Join us and step into Eugene’s virtual world.

And finally, on Tuesday 13th October, Danny will be joined by veteran actress Nora Samosir, and actor and artistic director Richard Tan to explore how drama and dance have enabled them in their care giving journey. I for one, can’t wait to hear what gems these two will share. Richard’s artistic philanthropy and life-changing work are simply awe inspiring!

I managed to catch up with Christel Goh ahead of her visit to Danny and Daniel’s Little Red Couch, to ask a few questions of my own! Read on…

Book and join the live Little Red Couch sessions starting this Tuesday, and find out how these artists are using their artistic skills to make life better for those living with dementia.

Questions by Elaine Friedlander, volunteer. Answers by Christel Goh, inventor of ‘Play Hua Hee’, founder of Grow Public Relations, and advocate for active ageing.

Q. How do you feel about the state of caregiving and dementia support  in Singapore? 

I feel that the state of caregiving has improved significantly over the years. My grandfather had dementia almost ten years ago. At that point, there was a lot less awareness of dementia and support. Now, there are alot more stories, organisations and communities trying to support caregivers.

Q. How was the journey for your family? Did you think there is any particular part healthcare/social support is getting right or wrong with regard to dementia and caregiving? 

My grandma currently has dementia and I think that thankfully my family is able to support her needs and help her. Before the pandemic, she was going to senior activity centres and I think that these centres are great for seniors – in engaging them within the community.

I think that in Singapore — seniors are either cared for by family or live in nursing homes. There should be other services to support seniors to live independently.

Q. Did your family rely on charities/non-governmental organisations for information for support? 

We did not.

Q. Can you elaborate on why not? 

I think we did not because my mum did loads of research on dementia. We have strong family support and did not see the need to look for help/information at NGOs/charities.

Q. And with regards to Play Hua Hee, how has it been received in Singapore and/or overseas? How has it helped you? 

[Play Hua Hee] is currently operating in Singapore. Our games are very localised and designed for local context. We are currently creating more fun lifestyle content on active aging as we want to show that ageing doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.

Playhuahee has and always will be my passion project. We may not be making much money but it is something that allows me to learn more about the ageing space and experiment.

Are you inspired by any other innovations/ways to enable communication/play between those with dementia and their friends/family? 

Since we have started to focus more on creating content for active ageing. I haven’t really been researching much about game play for people with dementia

Do you have any thoughts on how Covid-19 has impacted caregivers and those living with dementia in Singapore you’d like to share?

We wrote a blog article on how caregivers are coping with Covid-19 and understand that it is tough. But, happy to hear that senior centric activities are slowly resuming. I think safe distancing is extremely tough for seniors especially because technology isn’t something that is widely used among this demographic.

 Catch up with Chistel and Play Hua Hee online: playhuahee.com // Facebook // Instagram