Supporting the Salvation Army to Improve the Quality of Life of Singapore’s Aging Population Dealing With Dementia

Dementia is a growing challenge among Singapore’s elderly population. As memories fade, daily living becomes increasingly disorienting and overwhelming for seniors with dementia. Patients with dementia may severely affect quality of life for both the patients and their caregivers. Groups like the Salvation Army provide critical assistance through specialised nursing care and support services for persons with dementia.

The Growing Challenge of Dementia in Singapore’s Aging Population

Statistics show dementia cases in Singapore doubled from 2015 to 2020. Today, 1 in 10 seniors over 60 suffers from dementia. As Singapore’s population ages rapidly, the number of citizens with dementia is expected to exceed 152,000 by 2030. The declining cognitive abilities and memory loss associated with dementia severely impact seniors’ quality of life. Simple daily tasks become confusing or frightening, leading to missed medications, limited social interaction, malnutrition, and accidents around the home. Like Uncle Mike, adults with dementia often find themselves disconnected, lonely, and without purpose as their condition progresses. The burden placed on caregivers also intensifies over time.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a term that encapsulates a collection of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. It isn’t a specific disease, but several different illnesses may cause dementia. These cognitive impairments severely interfere with a person’s daily life and activities. A diagnosis of dementia is through a combination of medical tests, physical examinations, brain imaging scans, and mental status assessments. There is no single definitive test for dementia.

Common Symptoms of Dementia

Someone with dementia may show diverse symptoms, which often include memory loss, problem-solving difficulties, and complications with language and understanding. Other symptomatic aspects of dementia include alterations in mood, decreased cognitive function, and struggles with carrying out familiar tasks.

Types of Dementia: Understanding the Differences in Cognitive Impairment

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for a significant proportion of cases. Other types include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and mixed dementia. Dementia and alzheimer’s patient may have different causes and can exhibit different symptoms. It’s essential in nursing management to understand these types to provide the best personal care.

A woman is providing nursing care for a man with dementia  in a wheelchair

The Role of the Salvation Army in Supporting Dementia Patients

The Salvation Army in Singapore provides compassionate and dignified care for marginalised seniors through several nursing homes nationwide. With specialised care units and activities, Salvation Army Peacehaven and Jade Circle Arena facilities aim to stimulate cognitive abilities while providing meaningful social engagement opportunities. As described in the newsletter, Uncle Mike rediscovers joy and purpose within the protective environment of the nursing home. Encouraged to engage in stimulating activities while receiving attentive medical care, Uncle Mike forges heartwarming bonds with residents and staff who embrace his true self.

Salvation Army’s Commitment to Providing Home Care for Patients with Dementia

The Salvation Army in Singapore takes an active role to provide care and support dementia nursing care. The organisation offers respite care, day-care and interventions for dementia homes to the patients and their families at the Jade Circle Arena facilities within the Peacehaven compound.

The Benefits of Care Homes in Managing Dementia

Day Care Homes allow patients to remain in a comfortable and familiar environment, which can help mitigate symptoms of dementia. It enables personalised care and offers flexibility to meet the specific care needs of the patient.

How the Salvation Army Meets the Care Needs of Dementia Patients in Singapore

The growing prevalence of dementia among the elderly is placing increased demands on medical and social support systems to provide quality care for those suffering from cognitive decline. The Salvation Army provides tailored stages of dementia care. They create personalised plans incorporating cognitive assessments and medical management to provide comprehensive care.

A table full of AIC Flyers on nursing care of dementia patients.

The Importance of Specialised Nursing Care for Dementia Patients

Specialised dementia day care trains caregivers in communication techniques, patient psychology, customised activities to preserve cognitive function, and strategies to manage challenging dementia behaviours. At Peacehaven Jade Circle Arena, we run our caregiver courses through ACAREdemy that prepares our future caregivers with the theory and practical skills necessary for a range of scenarios including dementia, basic elderly care, and more. This tailored approach can significantly improve patients’ and families’ quality of life. For Uncle Mike, the compassionate and specialised dementia care at Peacehaven Nursing Home transforms his sense of loneliness and deterioration into renewed joy and dignity. Surrounded by caring experts within a safe environment, Uncle Mike’s overall well-being dramatises the benefits of specialised nursing homes for person with dementia.

What is a Nursing Care Plan?

A nursing care plan is a guideline that details assessment and care planning to a patient. It contains nursing diagnoses, expected outcomes, and evidenced-based nursing interventions.

Creating a Dementia-Specific Nursing Care Plan

This involves making a specialised care plan for people with dementia, considering their specific needs and the progression of their illness. It also addresses cognitive decline and dementia unique challenges these patients may face.

A man wearing a mask and hanging a bag outside of a door while providing nursing care for dementia patients.

How To Support The Salvation Army’s Efforts

Readers can assist the Salvation Army’s mission to serve vulnerable senior citizens in various ways. Such as donating towards our care programs and nursing home initiatives or volunteering your time to visit seniors and assist with activities. With how digitalised we are, readers can spread awareness online about common type of dementia to inspire others. Dementia is a disease mainly affecting adults, whereby memory, thinking, and judgment changes interfere with daily activities. Recognizing dementia among loved ones becomes critical so that patients and families can prepare while abilities still permit planning. As dementia becomes more advanced, an individual with dementia increasingly needs others to provide personal care and fulfil basic needs. Getting an accurate diagnosis through primary care physicians allows families and caregivers to educate themselves on how best to comfort patients in the later stages of the disease. Though emotionally difficult, understanding dementia among relatives helps families provide respectful support tailored toward maintaining dignity even as cognitive function declines. Working jointly with medical providers, engaged families play critical roles in shepherding patients through this profound illness.