I'm glad I decided to go ahead with my plan to attend the just-concluded Asia Pacific Conference on Ageing organized by the Gerontological Society of Singapore in conjunction with its 25th anniversary celebrations.
Given my mother's condition, I was particularly interested in the presentations on dementia and caregiving of the elderly with dementia. I picked up some really useful information that helped me understand my mother's dementia and my role as her primary caregiver. It was comforting to know about the existence of support groups and options available for homecare and nursing services.
There is currently no pharmaceutical cure for dementia. The risk of dementia increases with age. That puts most of us aged 65 and above at risk. The statistics below are certainly alarming:
|By 2030, 20% of Singapore's population will be aged 65 and above.|
Here are the 10 warning signs of Dementia to look out for. We may experience similar situations from time to time. The difference with dementia is that these behaviours will progressively get worse and affect the patient’s ability to live and function safely and independently.
1.Memory loss that affects day-to-day function
2.Difficulty doing familiar tasks
3.Confusion about time and place
5.Difficulty planning or solving problems
6.Poor or decreased judgment
8.Changes in mood or behaviour
9.Changes in personality
10.Withdrawal from work or social activities
(Source: Health Promotion Board, Singapore)
Conference attendees were each given a copy of the award-winning short film "Ah Kong" written and directed by Royston Tan. It's a story of a young man's attempts to help his grandfather remember his past as he struggles with dementia. However, it is not the past that the old man forgets, but the present.