Fighting dementia with each step

Participants on a 30-minute stroll during Walk 2 Remember at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park yesterday. More than 300 people took part in the walkathon, including seniors and their caregivers.
Participants on a 30-minute stroll during Walk 2 Remember at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park yesterday. More than 300 people took part in the walkathon, including seniors and their caregivers.PHOTO: WALK 2 REMEMBER

More than 300 people turned up at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park yesterday to take part in Walk 2 Remember, a walkathon that sought to strengthen both the mental faculties of the elderly and the bond they have with their caregivers.

The participants, including seniors above 60 and caregivers, had a 30-minute morning walk in the park.

The Alzheimer's Disease Association in Singapore has identified physical activity as a key strategy that can be used to manage dementia. It recommends walking 30 minutes a day, five times a week.

Organised by students from Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University, in collaboration with Ang Mo Kio Community Centre Youth Executive Committee, the walkathon was meant to be a catalyst to kick-start this habit.

Mr Henry Kwek, MP for Nee Soon GRC, said he was encouraged by the turnout. "With today's event, we are one step closer to building a dementia-friendly Kebun Baru community," he said, referring to his ward.

Other events, including mentally stimulating games, a mass workout and a panel discussion on dementia and caregiving by experts, took place alongside the walkathon, which was held in conjunction with the Community YOUthCare Festival and Singapore Community Games.

Ms Melissa Chan, head of community and outreach at community organisation Homage, said the campaign against dementia was highly relevant. "It presents an excellent talking point for the community in the light of building dementia-friendly communities in Singapore."

Joy Pang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 17, 2019, with the headline 'Fighting dementia with each step'. Print Edition | Subscribe