Relief Option for Burnt out Caregivers

BEBELEC DEMENTIA DAY- CARE CENTRE IPOH, Day-care Options for the Elderly with Dementia

by Anne Das

A caregiver is someone who provides care for another, often children, elderly, and/or chronically ill. Speaking specifically about ‘Dementia Caregivers,’ they are vulnerable to mental and physical health risks, reporting higher levels of stress, insomnia, depression, and higher incidence of chronic diseases.

Dementia is one of the most challenging age-related illnesses for family caregivers, whose care-related burden is well known., but they also often experience physical, emotional, and social strain. Stress and depression are commonly rated as high among caregivers; and many caregivers have concerns about their own health and their ability to maintain their health.

No matter how great a caregiver you are for someone you love, eventually you are going to need a break. Sometimes, a family member or close friend can step in, but a specialized adult day-care centre such as the Bebelec Dementia Centre, may be the way to go.

“Many seniors with cognitive decline come to enjoy getting out of the house and interacting with new people. It gives them something to do and look forward to, often creating a renewed sense of purpose in their everyday life.” – Professor Dr. Esther Ebenezer.

Speaking with Professor Dr. Esther Ebenezer, the Chairperson of the Dementia Society Perak and who is responsible for Malaysia’s first purpose built BEBELEC Day Centre for People with Dementia.

Professor jm Dr. Esther is also actively involved as Principal Investigator in many researches and clinical trials with new drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other psychiatric disorders.

Our aim is to help and facilitate those with Dementia and importantly to provide respite, emotional and mental support to their caregivers. We are also in the process of setting up a Dementia specific Residential Care Centre in Perak to be discussed with Ipoh Echo for another story.

“BEBELEC Dementia Day-Care caters to the needs of clients with mild to severe dementia. This beautifully constructed space can currently cater to about 40 people with dementia (PWD).  We provide close supervision in a safe, enriching environment for seniors to spend their day purposefully. Many PWD are unable to be left home alone due to wandering, forgetfulness and other potentially dangerous behavioural symptoms that put family caregivers in a difficult position.”

Malaysia’s First Dementia Multisensory and Motor Stimulation Therapeutic Garden is an obstruction free path designed to prevent digression, reduce confusion, and curtail apprehension. And for safety, brightly coloured yellow grab rails purl the pathway.

 “All our in-house caregivers and volunteers are trained and serve as a model for helping families cope with stresses that come along with caregiving. Through a carefully planned and individualised set of activities that incorporates cognitive, physical, social, and sensory stimulation, we strive to help your loved ones improve their quality of their life with social interaction, memory rumination and communication that help them feel happy and purposeful.”

Adult Day care centres like this truly help relieve family caregivers by cultivating the needs of PWD for social community, nutrition, physical activity, structure, and variety in everyday life.

Volunteers Bobby Das, Maggie, and Johnny, who bring music cheer to PWD every Friday morning. Music helps brings back good memories and promote good feelings. Also seen here is April Loh, Bebelec’s Caregiver with a PWD in her 80’s enjoying a sing-a-long session.
“People who have dementia might not remember the names of their children, the faces of their spouses or whether they have taken today’s dose of medication, but start playing their favourite song and they will sing and dance along to the tune” explains Dr. Esther
Ms Nelavathy who has worked for hospitals most of her life, is a BEBELEC Caregiver since its inception and ensures all food is served on time. Other than the tea breaks which she makes in house, daily lunches comes straight from 3 hospitals in Ipoh namely Hospital Fatimah, KPJ and Pantai (on rotation). Menus are managed by the respective hospital dietitians, ensuring PWD receive healthy and balanced meals.

BebeLEC Day Care Centre provides an array of activities for PWD to participate in,j which include arts and crafts, movie viewings, board and card games, music therapy, exercise programs, volunteer projects and much more. They also host theme social events and holiday celebrations.

Adult day services enables family caregivers to see to their own needs while their loved ones receive quality care. Utilizing these services can minimize caregivers’ burden and delay a senior’s placement in a long-term care facility.

BebeLEC Day Care Centre is located at 56, Jalan Lang, Padang Tembak 30000, Ipoh Perak. Open daily from 8am to 5pm with a pick up and drop off service. As a non-profit organization they depend on donations from the public and minimal fee from the clients’ family to operate the centre.

For more information, to plan for visit or to volunteer please call : 05 – 506 -0806 and to learn more visit their website @

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