Dementia: Early detection & support services

Updated: 18 Jan 2016
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Dementia is an illness that is increasingly common in Singapore due to our ageing population. It affects the brain and causes it to decline at a faster-than-normal rate. Their mental abilities deteriorate and they go through personality change and weakened memory. Those above 65 are especially susceptible. With Singapore’s ageing population, it becomes important for caregivers to learn how to identify such illnesses and to take proper care of our elderly loved ones.

Recognising signs & symptoms

There are steps that we can take to ensure that we catch dementia in its early stages. Early detection and treatment is key in slowing down its effects. These are some of the warning signs and symptoms:

9 Warning Signs of Dementia
  1. Forgetfulness which makes day-to-day activities challenging
  2. Difficulty doing familiar tasks
  3. Misplacing things
  4. Confusion about the time of day and where they are
  5. Finding it difficult to communicate with others
  6. Difficulty in dealing with new information or solving problems
  7. Poor or decreased judgement
  8. Mood swings or changes in usual behaviour
  9. Drastic changes in personality

Getting diagnosed & treated

If you suspect your elderly loved ones are suffering from dementia, or if they display the above warning signs and symptoms, you should get them properly diagnosed and treated. You can bring them to any of these medical institutions for a diagnosis:

  • Changi General Hospital

    Geriatric Clinic
    2 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889
    T: 6850 3510

  • Institute of Mental Health

    Psychogeriatric Clinic
    10 Buangkok View, Singapore 539747
    T: 6389 2200

  • Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

    Geriatric Department
    90 Yishun Central, Singapore 768828
    T: 6555 8000

  • National University Hospital

    Neuroscience Clinic
    5B Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074
    T: 6779 4850

  • Singapore General Hospital

    Department of Neurology
    Outram Road, Singapore 169036
    T: 6321 4377

  • Tan Tock Seng Hospital

    Geriatric Medicine Clinic
    11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Basement 1, Singapore 308433
    T: 6357 8013

Support services

Living with patients suffering from dementia is not easy. However, there are many support services available to help you cope and provide the best care possible for your loved ones.

Care relief services

It can sometimes be emotionally draining and time-consuming to care for dementia patients. Dementia day care centres like the New Horizon Centres provide caregivers an alternative so they can better manage their time and mentally cope. Besides providing respite to caregivers, these centres provide also nursing, therapy and other social activities to keep patients engaged.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Association manages a number of New Horizon Centres across Singapore. Learn more about their locations and services provided.

Monetary grants

The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) has 2 grant schemes that provide monetary relief to qualified caregivers of citizens above 65 requiring long-term care for illnesses like dementia:

  • Caregivers Training Grant

    This is a $200 annual subsidy for caregivers to attend approved courses that will help them better care for their loved ones. Learn more about the Caregivers Training Grant.

  • Foreign Domestic Worker Grant

    This monthly $120 grant supports families that need a foreign domestic worker to provide specialised care for the elderly. Learn more about the Foreign Domestic Worker Grant.

Information services

To learn more about dementia, you can call any of these hotlines:

  • Dementia Helpline (by Alzheimer’s Disease Association)

    Mon–Fri: 9.00 am–6.00 pm
    T: 6377 0700

  • Dementia InfoLine (by Health Promotion Board)

    Mon–Fri: 8.30 am–5.00 pm
    Sat: 8.30 am–1.00 pm
    T: 1800 223 1123