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​​​​​What Is Dementia

​Dementia is an illness that affects the brain and is not a natural part of ageing.



Persons With Dementia Lose The Ability To:​​

  • Think and reason
  • Remember new information or recall past events
  • Care for oneself
  • Learn new information and skills
  • Problem-solve and make judgements

Dementia can affect adults of any age, but it is more common in those aged 65 and above.

Today, there are 28,000 people aged 60 years and above with dementia. By 2030, there will be 80,000 persons with dementia. In the recent Well-being of the Singapore Elderly (WiSE) nationwide study, the prevalence of dementia was​ found to be 10% in the elderly population aged 60 years and above.

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​​​​​​​​​Types Of Dementia

​There are different types of dementia, each with different causes and symptoms. Being aware of the common types and their diagnosis could help you to better cater to your loved one's needs.

Learn about the types of dementia by downloading this PDF. Click here.

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​​​​​​​​​​​​Co​​mmon Signs and Symptoms

​There are several stages of dementia, with the experience different for each person. In all types of de​​mentia, memory problems are the early signs. The deterioration in cognitive skills is gradual and in later stages, daily activities will become increasingly challenging without assistance.

ABCDs of Dementia at Different Stages

Download the PDF here.

​For more information, please visit the Alzheimer's Association Website here​.

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​​​​​​​​​Normal Ageing vs Dementia

How can you differentiate the normal ageing process from the symptoms of dementia?

Normal Ageing Memory Changes

  • Still able to pursue daily activities and function independently, despite occasional memory lapses.
  • May require some time to remember directions and/or navigate new places.
  • Still capable in judgement and decision making.
  • Able to recall and describe significant events and instances.
  • May occasionally have difficulty finding the right word but has no problem in holding a conversation.

​​​​​​​​​Behaviours and Symptoms that may Indicate Dementia

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  • ​Difficulty in performing simple daily tasks, i.e. paying bills, dressing appropriately and washing up.
  • Forgetting how to do things that they are normally very familiar with.
  • Gets lost or appears disoriented in familiar places and is unable to follow directions.
  • Has difficulty choosing when presented with many choices, may demonstrate improper judgement or socially inappropriate behaviour.
  • Unable to recall or describe instances, especially with more recent events.
  • Frequently forgets, misuses or garbles words.
  • Repeats phrases and stories unknowingly in the same conversation.

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​Lowering Your Risk of Getting Dementia

Learn how you can keep your mind active and lower the risk of developing dementia. Read more here.


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Diagnosis A​nd Treatment

If you suspect yo​ur loved one is suffering from dementia, or displaying the described signs and symptoms, you should get them properly diagnosed and treated. However, starting a conversation with someone on the issue of memory loss and possibly dementia may require sensitive consideration. Read more here.

Treating Dementia

Presently, there is no cure for dementia. There are, however, drugs that may help improve mental function, mood or behaviour and slow down the symptomatic progression of the disease. Although slight improvements or stabilisation of symptoms can at times be seen, these ultimately do not put a stop to the disease or restore mental health. Read about the medications used to relieve some symptoms of dementia here​.

If you need advice or support on dementia, you may email ccmh@aic.sg.

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