Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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There’s still lack of awareness on dementia

Daniel Lim

The lack of awareness of dementia as a disease is a common problem encountered by consultant geriatrician Dr Shyh Poh Teo based on his experience giving talks.

Dr Shyh Poh Teo said this during a talk as part of Community Screening for Dementia in Brunei project at the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) Library in Kampong Pandan, Belait District yesterday.

“People are still unaware that dementia is a disease that affects brain functions. People think that it (dwindling brain function) is related to old age, alongside other symptoms,” said Dr Shyh Poh Teo.

He said talks are aimed at changing the mindset by disseminating information so that attendees learn more about the dangers associated with dementia, how to identify them at an early stage and seek medical treatment and support they need.

The event was supported by the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Demensia Brunei, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative (DAC).

A talk was held in the Belait District as part of the Community Screening for Dementia in Brunei project yesterday to raise awareness on dementia as well as how to properly identify and deal with the symptoms associated with it. The programme is aimed at the elderly aged 60 and above, as well as those aged 50 and older with risks of developing dementia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke
ABOVE & BELOW: A talk during the event; senior citizens taking part in an activity; and a participant receives a prize. PHOTOS: DANIEL LIM

The programme attracted participation of members of the Belait District Senior Citizens Association (PWEDB), Belait Senior Citizens Activity Centre (PKWE) and residents from the district. Apart from the talk, Geriatrics Medical Officer Dr Jian Yu Lei also gave a talk on dementia’s risk factors, symptoms and warning signs as well as introduced a brief cognitive assessment tool.

The attendees also took part in other activities, such as filling in questionnaires and exercises that can be used to identify the onset of dementia.

Dr Shyh Poh Teo said the event was a continuation of a community screening project that began in the Tutong District in August followed by the PKWE Lambak  this month.

More similar event will take place at PKWEs, senior citizen associations, markets and libraries.

The programme targets the elderly, aged 60 and above as well as those aged 50 and older with risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

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