Leap for Good: Addressing Social Needs in Singapore
We’ve been on an inspiring journey for the past couple of months. Our LearnDialect.sg team took part in Leap for Good Programme, with the intent of creating a better future for seniors and caregivers. We attended insightful workshops – organised by Raise Singapore – for building sustainable social enterprises and connected with many industry experts. More importantly, we dived deep into ground research by speaking to many healthcare professionals, volunteers and social workers.
A Need for Healthcare Professionals to Learn Dialects in Singapore
In the process, we uncovered a disturbing fact.
There is only 1 dialect-speaking nurse for every 48 dialect-speaking seniors!
*Analysed data from Singapore General Household Survey 2015 and Singapore Nursing Board
Indeed, Singapore relies on a growing number of younger local healthcare professionals and foreign healthcare professionals (e.g. Philippines, Myanmar, India) to cope with our rapidly ageing population. However, most of these healthcare professionals do not speak dialects. As a result, there is a growing language disconnect with dialect-speaking seniors. Current workarounds include heavy reliance on the next-of-kin (if they are present), waiting for a dialect-speaking nurse to be available (which may take a couple of hours), or using hand gestures for bare minimum communication. Imagine the risk of misinterpretation or incomplete information due to the lack of a common language! Such sub-optimal care may further lead to medicine misunderstanding, treatment delays, emotional distress and longer hospital stays for the seniors.
Creative Dialect Lessons in Singapore by LearnDialect.sg
As part of the Leap for Good programme, we had the treasured opportunity of sharing our idea with the public! We eagerly introduced our creative dialect workshops as a solution to bridge communication gaps between senior patients and healthcare professionals. Besides expanding on word vocabulary, our workshops focus on practical topics such as empathy training as well as local taboos. Consequently, healthcare professionals can better understand seniors’ needs, bringing about a higher quality of care.
Woohoo, the hardwork paid off! From 400+ team submissions, we made our way to the Top 11 Teams. Finally, we emerged as the Winner for the People’s Choice Award, as voted by the general public!
Keen to learn your dialect? Join us on our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!