BCDC’s 8th Gathering Visited By PKR

By KT Leong

Bougainvillea City Dementia Cafe (BCDC) held their 8th gathering today at 1 Lasam. BCDC are a support group by and for the people living with dementia and their caretakers. They discuss and create awareness regarding dementia but also offer some relief for those living with dementia to improve their quality of life.

To that end, BCDC were able to get Parti Komedi Rakyat (PKR) aka Gelak Komedi, to make their way to Ipoh from Kuala Lumpur for a special tailor-made performance for those in attendance at today’s gathering.

PKR consists of a group of comedians; Juliana Heng, Abby Thangiah and Saiful Onisan. Together, these 3 held an interactive stand-up session with the participants. Those who have attended prior gatherings by BCDC would recognise how PKR integrated various techniques to not only entertain, but stimulate the participants.

For instance, Juliana started off with showing off some pictures of famous locations and asking the participants for their memories of those places. Abby played picture and drawing games which listed the ingredients to common dishes. He had the participants identify each ingredient one by one, and then had them guess the dish based on those ingredients. This not only got the participants to jog their minds to identify the ingredients, but they had to remember what the ingredients were and what dishes could be made from those ingredients. Finally, Saiful played a medley of songs with fun rhythms, which could also be adapted with suggestions from the audience.

It was a great session that flew by.


Prior to the performances though, was a brief talk by Calvin Chong, a certified Teepa Snow trainer. A psychologist of 6 years in dementia care with Positive Approach to Care (PAC),he talked a bit about what kind of knowledge is stored on the left and right sides of our brains and how dementia targets the left side before spreading.

He explained things in a very understandable way. For example, first he explained that the left side of the brain has to do with understanding words, how to explain and being able to say those words.

Then he explained how the right side deals with rhythm and social cues. He sang “Que Sera Sera” to establish a rhythm. Then, with the rhythm in mind, he gave examples of social cues:

Have – you – eaten – your – lunch?
I – have – eaten.
What – did – you – eat?
I – ate – nasi – lemak.

He demonstrated that there is rhythm to social conversations and that dementia patients “cheat”, because they’re not necessarily listening to you but are simply using the right side of the brain which handles social cues.

Calvin will be giving a workshop to help caregivers identify what they’re doing well and how to give better care to people living with dementia on June 24, from 6pm to 8pm. The maximum number of participants is 8, on a first come, first serve basis, with a charge of RM50 per pax. Those interested should contact Calvin Chong at 016-7907649.

Ipoh Echo had previously spoken to Calvin, who gave very simple yet effective and insightful explanations on the challenges of people living with dementia. For instance, how many steps would it take someone to brush their teeth? 6?

1) Pick up a toothbrush
2) Apply toothpaste to the brush
3) Rinse and spit to moisten teeth
4) Brush teeth
5) Rinse and spit to remove paste and particles
6) Clean up

But for someone with dementia, it would take them 36 steps!

With this in mind, the workshop being offered should be invaluable to any caretaker of dementia patients. Once again, Calvin Chong can be contacted at 016-7907649.

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