Seniors on anti-dementia programme show improvement

A group of seniors in Assisi Hospice's dementia ward participate in music therapy. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Singapore's first community-based dementia prevention programme (DPP) has reported improvements in seniors' social connectedness and life satisfaction.

Piloted in Queenstown and Eunos last year, it also saw a decrease in anxiety and depressive symptoms after three months, said National University Health System, which supports the programme.

Seniors took part in five activities: health education, "meridian flapping" exercise, music reminiscence, mindfulness awareness practice and horticulture therapy.

In 2015, an Institute of Mental Health study found that one in 10 people aged 60 and above in Singapore has dementia.

It is expected to become more prevalent as Singapore ages.

  • 1 in 10

    people aged 60 and above in Singapore has dementia, according to a 2015 study.

Yesterday, the adviser to Tampines Group Representation Constituency grassroots organisations, Mr Desmond Choo, launched the DPP in Tampines Changkat. The 15-month programme aims to benefit around 50 elderly participants.

Some 30 grassroots leaders and community volunteers will lead the activities. Volunteer trainer Abdul Rashid Ibrahim, 61, wants to raise awareness of mental wellness .

His mother-in-law has dementia and he has seen the impact the illness can have. "I really would like to learn more about dementia prevention so that I can help myself and others too," he said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 23, 2017, with the headline Seniors on anti-dementia programme show improvement. Subscribe