Dementia patients and ITE students build S'pore's tallest straw lantern

Dementia patients and ITE students build S'pore's tallest straw lantern

SINGAPORE - The Salvation Army Peacehaven Nursing Home's residents with dementia, together with ITE students, set a record by building "Singapore's Tallest Straw Lantern", which will debut in the Singapore Book of Records.

According to a press statement released by the Peacehaven Nursing Home today, Minister of State for Health, Dr Lam Pin Min, who was the Guest-of-Honour for the event, unveiled and lit up the 5m lantern at the nursing home today.

Part of the nursing home's Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, the two-storey-tall straw lantern, made of 10,240 drinking straws and LED lights, took 2½ hours to complete. It was built by 75 of the Home's residents with dementia who were assisted by Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central's students.

Executive Director of The Salvation Army Peacehaven Nursing Home, Mdm Low Mui Lang said, "We organise many meaningful activities for our residents regularly so that they can continue to lead an active life. This building of the straw lantern is a good example. It shows that residents with dementia are able to carry out normal and fun-filled activities with good guidance and support. More such activities should be organised with involvement by the larger community. The activities are good ways to raise greater awareness about dementia, deepen people's understanding and compassion, and bring about strong support for people with dementia and their caregivers by the community."

Besides building the straw lantern, the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations included mooncake making and a mini arts and craft exhibition.

200 people joined in the festivities, comprising family members of NH residents, NH care staff and volunteers, RSVP volunteers and employees of Agency of Integrated Care (AIC), in addition to ITE College Central staff and students.

The collaboration attested to "Together we can do it", the theme for this year's Dementia Awareness Month in September. The event also offered opportunities for the nursing home's residents to bond with their family members, and encouraged the younger generation to volunteer and befriend the elderly at the same time.

The lantern will be exhibited at the Home for the month of September.

minlee@sph.com.sg

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