West District Catholics learn about dementia
Ms Karen Lim from the Alzheimer’s Disease Association speaking on April 22.
More than 150 people from the five parishes in the West District learnt more about dementia during a talk at the Church of the Holy Cross on April 22.
The event was organised by the Society of St Vincent de Paul’s Particular Council West, which serves the district, and was open to society members, parishioners and non-Catholics from the area.
The speaker, Ms Karen Lim from the Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA), shared how to spot signs and symptoms of dementia, the risk factors and how to reduce them, and where to seek help.
According to ADA, 45,000 people in Singapore live with dementia and the number is rising with an aging population.
This point was brought home when more than half of the audience indicated that they have personally known or lived with someone who has dementia.
Ms Lim clarified that dementia is not a normal part of aging nor a disease but a neurological disorder of the brain. She shared real-life stories of people with dementia and how caregivers can creatively overcome the many challenges.
She said that people with dementia should be treated like “V-I-P-S”. “V” stands for “valuing” the person, “I” refers to treating the person as a unique “individual”, “P” stands for considering the perspective of the person, and “S” refers to being “supportive”.
Mr Jason Foo, CEO of ADA, also expressed his hope that more such talks and collaborative programmes with parishes can be organised to support fellow parishioners who have dementia as well as their caregivers.
Those who attended the talk said they found it helpful.
Holy Cross parishioner, Mr Nicholas Chia, said he felt it gave him a better understanding of what a person with dementia is going through. This would help him in journeying with a friend who has dementia, he said.
Ms Audrey Koh from the Church of St Mary of the Angels said she felt it was important to create awareness so that people can seek relevant help.