Wednesday, August 26, 2015


August seems to be a popular month for seminars. I attended three, and had to skip two as they clashed with other commitments. Some of the information I picked up from each of these seminars is of relevance to seniors. I am sharing these slides and images below in the hope that our blog readers will benefit from the information given by the distinguished speakers.

Sat 15 August - Seminar on "Beyond Dentistry: More Than Teeth" presented by Channel News Asia and Specialist Dental Group of Singapore

Who would want to pay S$10 and spend Saturday afternoon listening to a group of dental and medical specialists talk about tooth decay, gum disease, etcetera? The answer: 500 people! Dental talks can be most boring, but the six specialists certainly knew how to inform, impress and entertain the audience with their lively presentation of the latest advances in dental care. 

A packed ballroom at the dental seminar. (Image from Specialist Dental Group blog)

While every one of the six speakers had good advice to offer on how to maintain dental health and ensure our teeth last a lifetime, the talk that resonated most with me as a senior citizen was 'Better Teeth, Better Years' delivered by prosthodontist Dr Neo Tee Khin. 

Remember how we dreaded going to the dentist during our childhood days in the 1950s and 60s? Qualified dentists were a rare breed then, especially in the small towns. Those we had were men in white who had learned their trade from other men in white before them through a period of apprenticeship. The fastest remedy for a persistent toothache in those days was an immediate extraction. That's how many ended up losing good teeth and having them replaced with ill-fitting dentures.

Thank goodness dentistry today has gone far beyond those dark days of terror in the dentist's chair. Dentists, like doctors, are sworn to save our teeth. Extraction is always the last resort. If you have a choice and if you can afford it, go for implants rather than dentures. They fit better, function and look like natural teeth, and last a lifetime if you practise dental hygiene diligently.

The speakers. Very impressive qualifications and credentials.  Click here for their biodata. 

Poor dental hygiene can lead to health problems like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease/stroke, lung infections, stomach ulcers, cancer and even erectile dysfunction. To maintain strong teeth and healthy gums, visit your dentist every six months, brush your teeth twice a day (also after meals if you can), and FLOSS, FLOSS, FLOSS!

For more about each of the talks and the speakers, click here.


Thurs 13 August - Symposium on "Ageing in Malaysia: From Molecules to Community" organized jointly by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

Sat 22 August - Seminar on "The Rising Tide - Dementia - Can we stop it?" organized by the Gerontological Society, Singapore

Both seminars focused on dementia and shared similar findings from the research studies done although the racial demographics differed. Some images of slides taken from the talks:

Both Malaysia and Singapore will have an ageing population by 2050. This will see a rise in the number of people with dementia. 

As the population ages, we are seeing a dramatic rise in cases of dementia among the elderly. What are the signs of dementia? Is it preventable? Curable? Inheritable? How can caregivers deal with the stress of looking after a dementia patient 24/7? What are the costs involved in dementia care? These were some of the questions that the three speakers addressed.

A/Prof Dr Rathi Mahendran reported on the Jurong Ageing Study (JAS), conducted to find out how interventions of mindfulness, art, tai chi and music reminiscence can help the elderly with mental health problems. Click here to view a video of Prof Kua Ee Heok taking about the study.
Pay heed to the risk factors. 
Immediate Past President of the Gerontological Society of Singapore, A/Prof Goh Lee Gan shared on the Dementia Prevention Program. He called for volunteers to be trained to assist with conducting the program. Click here to view related video of Prof Kua Ee Heok explaining the program.

A briefing session for volunteers on the components of the program. Interested? Please contact Ms Chan Hui Yu at
The Health component of the program in detail
The same advice for both Malaysians and Singaporeans on how to reduce the risks of getting dementia
With Prof Kua Ee HeokWe hail from the same hometown of Batu Pahat, and share a common interest in dementia. An Oxford-Harvard graduate in psychiatry, Prof Kua has written many books on the subject and is a much sought after speaker on ageing and mental health issues. 

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