Thursday, September 9, 2010

Can you remember Ah Kong?

7 September 2010

Film On Remembering, Loving And Understanding Your Loved Ones Despite Dementia

The Health Promotion Board commissions new film to raise awareness of dementia

The prevalence of persons living with dementia in Singapore is currently at 5.2% among those aged 60 years and above, or about 22,000 Singaporeans.

2. To raise awareness of dementia as well as to de-stigmatise the condition, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) has commissioned acclaimed local director Royston Tan, to direct a short film on dementia. Titled ‘Ah Kong’, the six-minute film is a moving story on seeing a loved one through the mirror of dementia. The film tells a poignant story of a grandson seeking to understand and reach out to his grandfather who is diagnosed with dementia.

3. The two-minute version of the film will air on Channel 8, Suria and Vasantham on 26 September 2010 while the full-length version can be viewed on YouTube. Please log on to from 14 September onwards for more details. Copies of the film will also be made into DVDs and distributed for free at Poh Kim and VideoEzy outlets.

4. ‘Ah Kong’ is part of HPB’s campaign this year to raise awareness of dementia, destigmatise the condition and educate caregivers to recognise the top three warning signs of dementia:

* memory loss that affects day to day functions
* difficulty doing familiar tasks
* confusion about time and place

5. In addition,HPB will be collaborating with the Alzheimer’s disease Association (ADA) Singapore and Changi General Hospital (CGH) on a new programme called DemACT-HOME, which serves to empower eldercare workers (and family caregivers) in the community to engage persons with dementia at home with meaningful activities. The programme comprises of an assessment, training, supervision and a unique activity toolkit to promote cognitive and psychosocial functioning and wellbeing. DemACT-HOME intends to support the care-giving capacity for seniors with dementia, enable aging and care in place and in the long run, delay the necessity for institutional care.

6. Other activities held in conjunction with HPB’s dementia campaign include informative talks in collaboration with Ain Society, a voluntary welfare organisation and a Memory Walk in November with ADA Singapore to communicate the importance of staying physically active as one of the ways to reduce the risks of dementia. The event is held in commemoration of ADA’s 20th Anniversary. Please refer to Annex A for the full listings of talks.

Visit by Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan to New Horizon Centre

7. To better understand the challenges faced by dementia patients and their caregivers, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan will be visiting the New Horizon Centre, a day care centre for dementia clients, on Tuesday 7 September 2010, 10.30am.

8. We will be pleased to arrange for interviews with HPB spokespersons, Royston Tan and the caregivers on the daily challenges they face in taking care of their loved ones with dementia.

About Dementia

9. Contrary to common belief, dementia is not an inevitable part of the ageing process. Recognising the warning signs of dementia and knowing the preventive and protective factors can help reduce the risk or delay the onset of dementia. These factors include staying physically and mentally active, eating healthily, quitting unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, and being socially engaged.

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