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Published: Monday January 20, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday January 20, 2014 MYT 8:08:50 AM

Hospitals and help agencies gear up for spike in dementia cases

New facilities for dementia patients are being launched as hospitals and help agencies gear up for a surge in the number of people who seek earlier help for the disease.

Next month, the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) will open its wards specially for dementia patients.

Designed to create a homely environment, the wards lead to a garden. There will be “memory cubby holes” installed by the bedside for patients to place cherished items that may help trigger their memory.

Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA), one of the key voluntary welfare organisations here that champion dementia issues, is also launching a unique day-care centre in Tiong Bahru next month.

Family members can help in the rehabilitation of their loved ones suffering from the disease by interacting with them in a mock-up apartment at the centre.

It comes complete with a living room and a pantry.

The association has also created a similar mock-up apartment at its training centre in Bendemeer Road.

Toilets are fitted with a coin-lock system that enables a caregiver to open them using a coin from the outside should an elderly dementia patient find himself locked in.

Shared cupboards are designed such that one half with see-through panels is set aside for a person with dementia to allow him to pick out clothes easily. The other half, belonging to his caregiver, is painted white to blend with the walls.

The aim is to draw attention away from the caregiver’s clothes and minimise confusion for the person with dementia. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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