Guidelines and Limitations
Knowledge of dialects such as Hokkien, Teochew or Cantonese is helpful but not essential. The most important attribute is you must be comfortable working with elderly persons who have dementia.
Due to the nature of dementia as a disease affecting the moods and behaviour of elderly persons, ADA has to conform to certain welfare and risk-management guidelines to protect the interests of all parties. As such, volunteers must meet the following criteria for certain types of volunteer work.
1. Must be above 17 years old if you wish to be involved in directly interacting with our elderly clients with dementia. This requirement does not apply to non-direct interaction where groups of youth simply want to perform and entertain our elderly clients.
2. All volunteers are required to attend a mandatory 1-hour volunteer orientation session conducted by ADA before you start volunteering. This session covers the Volunteer Code of Conduct and specific guidelines on volunteer safety and welfare. The orientation will be held on weekday evenings at our Bendemeer office, usually once every 1-2 months when we have reached a room size of at least 25.
3. For those aged between 13 and 16, you may want to consider indirect volunteering service involving no interaction with our clients. However, you still need to fill up the parental consent form and have it signed by your parents or guardian.
4. For students or corporate organisations fulfilling CIP/CSR opportunities, please note that the number of volunteers we can host at any one time is between 6 and 30 (maximum) depending on the day care centre and the intended activity.
5. As ADA coordinates numerous overlapping volunteer groups of the same interests and thus cannot accede to all groups for a particular time slot, we urge all potential volunteer groups to contact us at least two months in advance before their intended date of volunteerism activities. It will be good if each group seeks our inputs before even fixing the nature of volunteering activity they can offer to ADA. We regret this limitation, but due to the complex nature of dementia and our strong commitment to minimise disruption and inconvenience to clients and staff, we cannot always accommodate the usual/generic activities that other welfare organisations gladly accept. So, please contact us well in advance, and firm up your volunteerism plans only after consulting us. We’ll be glad to help you if you can help us help you!