How to Volunteer for Tablet-based Activities in the VITA Program?


About VITA

Over the years, we have found that volunteers visitors find it particularly difficult to interact with residents who have dementia. This is hardly surprising, as people with dementia often have difficulties following a conversation, or speaking about themselves. So we wanted to find a way for both the volunteers and residents to enjoy the visit and to have the warmth and companionship of a good visit.
In coordination with researchers from the NUS-HCI Lab,  we developed VITA, a tablet-based activity program to help non-expert caregivers interact with long-term care residents who have dementia. The system addresses three main difficulties that volunteers have - knowing who the resident is, offering activities that are suited to each person with dementia, and instructions on how to conduct these activities.
Residents enjoying the use of tablets with volunteer facilitation  

What happens during a VITA Session?

This video gives you an overview of the activities!

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Will I have to be good at computers to be a VITA volunteer?
No. If you are comfortable using a smartphone, you should be able to comfortably use the system.

2. Do I have to undergo training?
Not more than 30 minutes. Before a scheduled VITA session, we ask volunteers to come about 30 minutes earlier to familiarize themselves with the information on their assigned resident. We also give you time to play with the recommended apps on the tablet, so that you can more easily help the resident during the session.

3. How many people can you take in a VITA session?
We have capacity of up to 15 volunteers per visit.

4. Will you collect data on me?
Only if you choose to sign in. VITA works with and without volunteer sign-ins. We will collect data on the activity during the session, but this data is focused on the type of activities conducted. For example, the system records  what app was used, how long it was used, and also some feedback from the volunteer on how the resident enjoyed the session. This data helps us to customize future sessions for each resident, and to improve the experience for future volunteers and residents.

5. How do I sign up?
Use this form to indicate your interest, and we will contact you to arrange a good timing. Be sure to tick on the checkbox for:  "Please indicate if you are interested in tablet-based activities."

Learn More

VITA is also a research project. You can learn more about how it was developed here .