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Yishun to become friendlier for lost dementia patients

More 'safe return points' will offer assistance and information

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Felicia Choo on 14 May 2018

The Straits Times

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Nee Soon South is set to become more dementia-friendly. Eight more go-to points, where the public can take people with dementia who are lost and wandering, will open from today.

 

These will be on top of the current 14 in Yishun.

 

These "safe return" points, called Dementia Go-To Points, also provide caregivers and the public information and assistance on dementia.

 

Nee Soon South is set to become more dementia-friendly. Eight more go-to points, where the public can take people with dementia who are lost and wandering, will open from today.

 

These will be on top of the current 14 in Yishun.

 

These "safe return" points, called Dementia Go-To Points, also provide caregivers and the public information and assistance on dementia.

 

"There are misconceptions that dementia only happens when we age or that it is 'part and parcel' of ageing. These Dementia Go-To Points are important to educate our residents about dementia, and what we can do to reduce the risk."

 

She was speaking at a training session on dementia conducted by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) yesterday. It was attended by 70 grassroots leaders and volunteers at Nee Soon South Community Club.

 

There are around 70 Dementia Go-To Points here. AIC is working with Bukit Batok East and Teck Ghee to set up points there.

 

Yishun is one of six designated dementia-friendly communities here. The other five are MacPherson, Hong Kah North, Bedok, Queenstown and Fengshan. There are plans to increase the number to 15 in the next three years or so.

 

Currently, one in 10 Singaporeans aged 60 and above has dementia. But by 2030, this number is expected to more than double to 103,000.

 

THOSE 85 AND OLDER AT GREATER RISK

 

Ms Lee also shared her first-hand experience with dementia, when her mother-in-law suffered from the disease in her 80s.

 

"Sometimes she would call me to tell me that my father-in-law is on his way to my home, but actually he had already passed on a long time ago," said Ms Lee of her late mother-in-law.

 

Those aged 85 or older are particularly at risk of dementia, with a 50 per cent chance of getting the brain disease.

 

Secondary 2 student Arnesh Ryan, 14, was prompted to attend the training session with his grandmother, after an incident with his friend's grandfather, who has dementia.

 

Usually cheerful and chatty, the 86-year-old man left his home in Yishun to buy food for Arnesh and his friend but failed to return. Police found him in Sembawang the next day. "I felt very scared because he didn't talk much to us... so I want to learn about dementia and how it affects our lives," Arnesh said.

 

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.