Dementia: Signs, symptoms and ways to reduce risk

SINGAPORE - One in 10 people aged 60 and above in Singapore has dementia, a new study here has found.

The Institute of Mental Health, whose experts collaborated with other international investigators for the three-year study, said these are a few signs and symptoms of dementia and tips on what people can do to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

1. Signs and symptoms of dementia*

- Forget details or an entire event, for instance, not being able to recall having taken dinner after just an hour

- Lose the ability to make decisions and their sense of time and place

- Lose their way around familiar neighbourhoods

- Face difficulty when doing simple tasks such as washing, eating and dressing

- Lose the ability to perform everyday tasks such as dressing, eating or bathing

- Become less communicative and more reclusive

- Become restless and more irritable

2. Strategies to reduce the risk of developing dementia

- Exercise regularly

- Keep the mind active by solving puzzles or learning a new skill

- Manage chronic diseases appropriately, such as monitoring and controlling hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol

- Build a network of family and friends to socialise with

* This is only a guide. Always seek medical assessment and do not rely on self-diagnosis.