MAELAB X VOLUNTEERS: REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THE ‘ARTS, MINDFULNESS AND THE AGEING BRAIN’ EXHIBITION
“The biggest takeaway would be that visitors have a better understanding of how the brain develops with age. They understand how to care for their mental health and will take steps towards achieving a healthy lifestyle.”
–Mdm Rita, Volunteer Docent at Mind Art Experiential Lab (MAELab)
Mind Science Centre called out for volunteers to join us as docents to guide public visitors through the curation and we are grateful that our recruitment drive was met with great reception. Notably, it was heartwarming to see that some of the volunteers are seniors who have visited our curation and decided to advocate for it.
In preparation for the launch, our volunteers have trained for hours to familiarize with the exhibition contents, the back story of each artwork and the key takeaways of each themed section.
With the official launch on World Alzheimer’s Day (21 September) this year, we received lots of media attention and MAELab was featured across all major news outlets. With increased public interest, MSC decided to extend the current curation to February 2022, so as to allow more members of public to have a chance to benefit from the abundance of knowledge packed into the cozy space at Block 29 Level 2 of Alexandra Hospital.
If you’ve yet to plan your trip down to MAELab with your kakis and family, now you’ll have more time to do so! Admission is by booking only. Check out the available slots HERE.
To spice up what to expect at our meaningful curation, let’s hear the interesting stories from our senior volunteers themselves!
A quick self-introduction of our featured volunteers
Mdm Rita: I am Mdm Rita, a volunteer docent at MAELab. I got to know about MAELab’s volunteer recruitment through RSVP. I decided to be a volunteer as I wish to stay active in my senior years. Volunteering at MAELab has been an enlightening experience.
Mdm Tan: I chanced upon an advertisement on MAELab’s volunteer recruitment and I wrote in to apply. I have an interest in mind development and how to harness our brain power. I was a trained Professional Counsellor (graduated in 2006) and volunteered as Counsellor for five years previously. Before I retired in March 2020, my day job was an IT professional and I was leading an IT Department. After retiring, I was looking for volunteering tasks to do with my retired friends and this task relating to scientific research is very close to my heart. I am part of the target age group of the research activities featured here, which means I may be at risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), making it important for me to learn how to do active prevention. I benefitted from being a volunteer here and actually put the theory into my own practice. For example, I am coffee drinker and after knowing the benefits of tea drinking, I’ve decided that I must change my drinking habit to take a cup of tea per day. I am still practicing it and found that it helps to change my reliance on coffee. Beyond that, there are other areas that all Seniors can practice, such as art therapy, choral singing, daily mindfulness walking and more.
Mr Loh: I volunteered in many places previously and I was motivated to volunteer at MAELab due to its innovative gallery and exhibits. I am an AWE Ambassador of the People Association. MAELab fills the public’s knowledge gap of what Dementia is and gathers public attention on Dementia and its various methods of prevention.
What do you think of the ongoing first curation? Share with us your experience.
Mdm Rita: This first curation aptly highlights Mind Science Centre’s vision and mission. The good coverage highlights the availability of programmes within our community to support seniors to age well. Innovative research studies on the effects of tea drinking, choral singing and art therapy on the human brain show there are enjoyable activities one can do regularly to promote brain health. The purpose of MindGym reminds visitors that mental fitness exercises optimize cognitive performance and build mental resilience. A visit to MAELab to view this first curation can be an inspiring learning experience.
Mdm Tan: It is well presented with evidence-based results and we need more visitors to view all the experiential and research outcomes. Seeing is believing.
What is the biggest takeaway that you’d hope your visitors will learn after their guided tour with you?
Mdm Tan: I sincerely hope that visitors will learn that ageing does not inevitably lead to dementia. MAELab demonstrated ways that the senior can improve their quality of life. There are prevention steps to take to delay the degeneration of the brain, such as active participation in Age Well Everyday programme, Tea-drinking, Choral-singing, Art-drawing as we have many beautiful gardens to do our drawings. Each and every visitor can find their own innate hobbies to engage their brain in active ageing.
Mr Loh: The biggest takeaway I hope the visitors will learn after their guided tour with me is they want to come back for a second visit asap! I think the first curation is coming up to an end soon so we must prepare the visitors to come for the second exhibition and then the future exhibitions. We are a new gallery and we need the MAELab to be remembered by the visitors as the gallery that exhibits mental health issues in our country.
Final remarks to close off…
“It’s at a cozy place in a quiet part of Singapore. Located in Alexandra Hospital is the right decision! It is very easy to travel there by bus or car. The place is not big, but it is sufficient for visitors and docents to have a good sharing of the exhibition and relax after the tour.”
–Mr Loh, Volunteer Docent at MAELab
Planning a visit soon?
Mind Art Experiential Lab (MAELab)
MAELab is an innovative space for discovery of creative and integrative interventions through art, mindfulness and transdisciplinary research to promote mental wellness and enhance quality of mind. Through this space, we seek to raise awareness on mental health, evoke embodied reflective moments and provide an experiential journey that allows internalisation of learning with personal relevance.
“MAELab can act as a beacon to alert the visitors of the various mental health issues that Singapore is facing. MAELab champions the prevention approach in mental healthcare. Prevention is always better than cure!”
“I view MAELab as an educational place where teaching and learning can happen. MAELab provides the platform to showcase creative and innovative research studies that use non-drug methods in promoting mental wellness and to enhance quality of mind.
Through initiatives by MAELab, there will be greater awareness of mental health issues. People are motivated to take steps to achieving good mental wellness. Holistic community programmes are accessible to support more seniors in their silver years live active and independent lives.”
Find out more about the ongoing curation HERE!