10 Common Symptoms of Persons with Dementia

 
What are the symptoms of persons with dementia? We can help our loved one with early intervention if we know what is the telltale signs of dementia.

1. Problems with recent memory

They often forget recently learnt information. They may forget important dates or events, and ask for the same information repeatedly. The memory loss can affect their daily routine.

2. Problems with visual perception

They may have difficulties identifying objects in a familiar environment, and be unable to judge distances and depths correctly. Activities like reading and driving may become challenging.

3. Changes in mood, behaviour and personality

They may have rapid mood swings, withdraw from group activities, become passive and sleep more than usual. They can become a little insensitive towards others.

4. Withdrawal from hobbies and activities

They may lose interest in their usual hobbies, lack motivation at work and avoid social activities.

5. Misplacing things

They may lose things and be unable to retrace their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur ore frequently over time.

6. Confused with places and time

They may be confused with day and night, and read the time wrongly. They may not be sure of their location and feel frustrated in unfamiliar and noisy environments, causing them to lose their way.

7. Difficulties in planning and thinking

They may have trouble handling money, paying bills and following instructions, resulting in difficulty in financial transactions. They may also have trouble concentrating and take much longer to do things.

8. Difficulties in communication

They may struggle to express themselves, and experience problems finding the right word or naming objects. They may also have problems understanding what others are saying to them and may stop conversations with no idea on how to continue. They may also repeat themselves.

9. Difficulties completing familiar tasks

They may face difficulties completing familiar tasks that they used to do well, including cooking and driving etc.

10. Poor judgement and impaired social behaviour

They may not know what is appropriate or safe. For instance, they may use crude or coarse language or make insensitive remarks.

Source: Alzheimer’s Disease Association ADA (helpline: 6377 0700)

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Enabling EDIE by Alzheimer’s Disease Association ADA

 
Thanks to Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA) for conducting this programme of learning – Enabling EDIE. We were grateful to participate in this programme which is only available in Australia, Canada and Singapore.

In the class, we experienced how a dementia patient perceived the world with visual reality. It enabled us to feel the challenges they are facing and thus creating a supportive environment to engage, enable and empower them.

This programme simulated Edie, a dementia patient, waking up in the middle of the night and finding his way to the bathroom.

We were experiencing how Edie felt before and after a supportive change in the house (environment) he was living in. And how his wife’s quality of sleep was subsequently improved.

After completing this program, we understand that living with a dementia patient is not merely about looking after them. It also covers creating a user-friendly environment to re-enable and empower them to live independently. A small renovation to the home such as putting up appropriate signboards, using a different door colour for the bathroom and installing simple technological aids can positively change the way persons with special needs live. Helping them re-gaining sense of purpose and keeping them engaging in daily activity can certainly benefits them emotionally and physically.

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Environment Design Tips for the Elderly

 
The 5 principles apply to all environment design including for the elderly:
1. Safety
The environment should not cause hurt, physical injury or loss to elderly.

2. Accessibility
The environment should be easily accessible to elderly with varied disabilities.

3. Comfort
The environment should be comfortable and provide a sense of An Le 安乐 (“peace and happiness” in Mandarin). The environment should not make elderly feel anxious, frightened or upset.

4. Legibility
The environment should be easily understood and discovered by elderly with various disabilities.

5. Efficiency
The environment should be designed and organised such that elderly can get from one point of service to another effortlessly and in a timely manner.

Source: SingHealth

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Enabling People with Special Needs Through Design

 
Generally, there are 4 groups of people with different special needs. Their impairments are as follow:
1. Mobility impairment. They are wheelchair users or the ambulant disabled with restricted movements.
2. Visual impairment. This refers to blindness, partial sight and color blindness.
3. Hearing impairment. They are people with deafness and hearing loss.
4. Cognitive impairment. They are people who face cognitive, language or learning disabilities such as people with dementia or autism.

Designing and building an interior integrated with accessibility means such as assistive devices can facilitate user-friendliness of a space. This means a space has to be inclusive enough in enabling users in general as well as people with special needs use a space more confidently and independently. By including more accessible measures to our environment, it can improve the quality of life for persons with special needs and their care-givers tremendously.

Thus, we value the benefits universal design brings to our clients. It has also became an important factor in our design thinking process. We believe being inclusive should be a collective effort among all stakeholders and society as a whole.

Click here for source.

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Walk the Extra Mile with Me

 
As a parent, we always do our best to cultivate a loving heart in our children. The ability to be able to think in someone’s shoe, deeply empathizing and connecting with others not only important in guaranteeing a harmony relationship in family and workplace, but also enables one to live his or her life with gratitude.

Thus, we were grateful to celebrate our weekend family day out by supporting the event “Walk the Extra Mile with Me” organized by The Children’s Charities Association of Singapore (CCA). Beneficiaries of this event were:
Singapore Children’s Society
The Singapore Association for The Deaf (SADeaf)
Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS)
Movement for The Intellectual Disabled of Singapore (MINDS)
St. Andrew Mission Hospital
Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN)

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