Rebranded Dementia Singapore to roll out new initiatives
New initiatives to support people with dementia and their caregivers will be rolled out, marking the rebranding of the Alzheimer's Disease Association as Dementia Singapore.
The initiatives are a resource portal, a membership programme, an inclusiveness toolkit for businesses, and an assisted living project, President Halimah Yacob announced in a speech posted on Facebook yesterday.
The organisation will also extend its help to those with other dementia-related conditions, she added.
Dementia is a general term that describes a wide range of symptoms such as loss of memory, language and problem-solving abilities. The conditions that cause these symptoms include Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia and frontotemporal dementia.
A 2015 study by the Institute of Mental Health found that one in 10 Singaporeans aged 60 and above suffers from dementia - or about 82,000 people.
The toolkit and resource portal will launch this month, while the membership portal and assisted living project are slated for November, Dementia Singapore said.
The toolkit will offer a three-stage framework for organisations to adopt more inclusive practices. The resource portal will provide information for people with dementia, caregivers, professionals and the public.
The membership programme will take the form of a mobile application that will seek to be a platform for caregivers and people with dementia to find resources. It will also have a safe return function, which helps people with dementia get home if they become lost.
The assisted living project will be sited in a block of Housing Board flats and aims to provide dementia care facilities and support to allow people with dementia to continue to live in their homes.
Founded in 1990 as the Alzheimer's Disease Association, the organisation was relaunched by Madam Halimah yesterday - coinciding with World Alzheimer's Month.
"These initiatives are good first steps, and I urge Dementia Singapore to further assess the needs of the dementia community here and work with the Government to boost our capabilities to build a dementia-friendly society," she said.
Dementia Singapore chief executive Jason Foo said it will "continue tracking the ever-changing caregiving trends and needs of people with dementia".
Madam Halimah said Singapore's ageing population means that the number of people living with dementia could rise.
Singapore's 2020 census showed that those aged 65 and older made up 15.2 per cent of residents last year, a significant rise from 9 per cent in 2010.
Madam Halimah added: "It is imperative to plan ahead to improve our capability and capacity for dementia care, and introduce quality programmes to meet the growing demand."
She said Singapore must work to create a dementia-friendly society, one where people with the condition are understood, respected, supported, are able to move around safely and easily in their communities, and lead independent and meaningful lives.