Materia Medica Malaysiana

November 4, 2007

Increasing awareness on dementia

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:21 am

Star: PETALING JAYA: Filial piety may be the cause of late detection of Alzheimer’s Disease among Malaysians, Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM) patron Datin Seri Wendy Ong said.
“Many families, especially in the rural areas, still consider Alzheimer’s as part of the aging process and do not seek help and treatment until the situation worsens,” she said.
She said this when opening a public forum entitled “Dementia is Everyone’s Business” organised by ADFM yesterday. The forum was held to create awareness and share information on caring for those suffering from dementia.
Wendy Ong, who is the wife of Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, urged those diagnosed with early dementia to seek medical treatment.
She said this could help caregivers be better prepared and cope with the problem.
“Early treatment will also enable them to maintain a reasonable quality of life,” she said.
Based on international statistics, she said 5% of people between the ages of 65 and 80, and 20% of those aged above 80 will have dementia.
“It is a disease that hits people as young as 45 years old.
“As our population ages, we are going to experience more and more cases of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s Disease,” she said.
Speaker Willie Kwa, an ADFM exco member, said it was hard having to look after people with early dementia because they were sometimes rational and other times confused and would talk gibberish.
“Quite often they lose the ability of knowing what they are doing, and have very short attention span and frequent memory lapses,” said Kwa, a retired mental health practitioner for the elderly in Britain.

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