The Dementia Society Perak (TDSP), in collaboration with the youths of the Perak Malayalee Association, organised a lunch on January 13 at Marianis@7, specially dedicated to the caregivers of People with Dementia (PWD). A first of such an event, it turned out to be a great success paving the way for more future activities.
The ambience, delicious food and the live music greeted caregivers and their loved ones as they arrived, each and every one greeted lovingly and ushered to their seats. Mary, a client, sang ‘Tennessee Waltz’ beautifully to loud applause from the audience.
Professor Dr Esther Ebneezer, the President of TDSP, warmly welcomed everyone and gave a short speech on the vision of TDSP, ‘The one stop Dementia Care Centre’ comprising daycare, therapeutic garden and residential care, to provide respite space for caregivers. Her future plans to make Ipoh the model city for dementia care in the country needs lots of support and financial assistance from well-wishers, NGOs and corporate bodies. Compared to many other Asian countries like Japan and even Singapore, our closest neighbour, we are far behind in this aspect.
She also revealed the calendar of events for caregivers for 2018, which included the restarting of the ‘Forget-Me-Not Support Group’ meetings, short visits to recreational areas, cooking classes and caregivers training sessions.
TDSP started the day care centre six years ago with only two to three clients but now it accommodates 20 to 25 clients on average daily.
Ipoh being the fourth largest city in Malaysia, has a population of about 700,000; of this, more than 45,000 are aged 65 and above. Based on this estimate, 2000 PWD are living in Ipoh.
According to data released by the United Nations, about 123,000 Malaysians are living with dementia and it is expected to double by 2030.
Sr Ramayee Sinnasamy