Saturday, April 9, 2011


What diseases do doctors fear most for themselves? I posed this question to my mom's cardiologist at his clinic last week. Without hesitation he said "Stroke and dementia."

I don't have direct experience taking care of a stroke patient. But caring for my mother who has dementia has given me a first-hand look at what the disease does to a person. I agree with the doctor. I too pray I won't suffer this debilitating disease in my old age. A family member went as far as to say (and I quote from his text message) "Wouldn't wannna stay in body if brain functions impaired".

One of the most common forms of dementia is Alzheimer's Disease. It is a progressively degenerating disease that has no known cure at the moment. In Singapore, dementia is a time bomb that is waiting to explode. By 2020, an estimated 50,000 Singaporeans will have some form of dementia.

Several days ago I received an email from Diana Wright of Alzheimer's Association. Here's what she wrote:

"The good news is that death rates for many major diseases - HIV, stroke, heart disease, prostate cancer, and breast cancer - are declining. Sadly, we can't yet say the same about Alzheimer's. This year, the first of the Boomer Generation turns 65. To bring urgently-needed attention to the risk facing the Boomers, Alzheimer's Association recently released a groundbreaking study - Generation Alzheimer's: The Defining Disease of the Baby Boomers.

We'd love your help in getting the word out on SeniorsAloud about the important information in Generation Alzheimer's, so we can make sure the public understands what can be done to conquer this devastating disease."

While Alzheimer’s is not normal aging, age is the greatest risk factor for the disease. This report conveys the burden of Alzheimer's and dementia on individuals, families, government and the nation's healthcare system.

Do check out the related videos and links. Knowledge empowers, so please pass on the information to others. Let us help make a difference.

"Alzheimer’s Is Devastating, Deteriorating and Debilitating. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's."


Winston said...

Lily, the most fearsome thing about this syndrome is that the patient becomes more and more disabled until eventually he/she is completely vegetative.
The brain has become a mass of tangled mess.
There is full reliance on the care-giver.
And many have also become bed-ridden.
This condition can lasts for years and in the case of former US President Reagon, for ten years!
Very frankly, for me, personally, I prefer euthanasia.
In this vein, I would like to refer to an article I read recently about the homes for the aged where the kin of the elderly sent their old folks to be cared for.
It seems that practically all of them treat their inmates very badly.
I wonder if there are exceptions to this - if so, perhaps you can blog about it.

seniorsaloud said...

Winston, I fully agree with your comments. The Star carried an excellent response from a reader to my letter first published on April 6( He wrote about the deplorable conditions in some nursing homes. I've checked out a few of these privately-run homes and found them so depressing. The residents were listless, and appear to be simply waiting out their final years. There's got to be better options for elderly folks who need nursing care.