What Are Dementia Go-To-Points, And How Can They Help Persons Living With Dementia?

25 Nov 2022
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A study showed that one in every 10 people above 60 years old in Singapore has dementia. The number is expected to increase, and by 2030, there will be approximately 152,000 persons living with dementia.


This is why it’s important for us to make Singapore a more inclusive, so that persons living with dementia and their caregivers can feel safer in the community. But what can be done? Here’s where the Dementia Go-To-Points come in. We speak to Mr Foo Chen Chin, Senior Manager at the Caregiving and Community Mental Health Division in the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), to learn more.
 

Foo Chen Chin
Mr Foo Chen Chin

Senior Manager, Caregiving and Community Mental Health Division of Agency for Integrated Care (AIC)

 

"1. If I see a person with dementia alone and lost, how can I help them? What should I take note of or look out for?"

Foo Chen Chin Answer:

If you see a person appearing lost, you can approach them to ask if they need any form of assistance such as wayfinding or return home.  

If the person cannot remember the way home or how to reach a destination, check if the person carries any form of identifier, for example:

  • NRIC
  • CARA card
  • In Case of Emergency, Dial (ICED) stickers
  • Other forms of identification that has contact details or address on it 

Alternatively, you can also bring the person to a nearest Dementia Go-to Point (GTP), whereby staff are trained to know how to provide the necessary assistance.  

When interacting with someone who may have dementia, remember to practise KIND and CARE.

Communicate with CARE

  • Use Clear and simple language when talking
  • Acknowledge his/her concerns
  • Be Respectful and assuring
  • Engage to provide comfort and build trust

Practise KIND

  • Keep a lookout for people who show the ABCD signs and symptoms of dementia
  • Interact with patience
  • Notice their needs and offer help
  • Dial for help

"2. What are Dementia Go-To Points (GTPs)? Why were dementia GTPs set-up and where are they?"

Foo Chen Chin Answer:

GTPs are community nodes that serve as resource centres which provide educational resources and information for the general public, persons living with dementia, and caregivers. It also acts as “safe return” points to assist “lost-and-found” persons living with dementia who wander off in the community to reunite with their family or return home safely. 

These dementia GTPs support them in navigating around safely in the community. This also gives their caregivers peace of mind, knowing that assistance is available for their loved ones when need arises.  

The list of GTPs in Singapore can be found on HealthHub.


"3. I am caring for a loved one with dementia. What are some tips you can give me to better care for them?"

Foo Chen Chin Answer:

Learn more about the dementia condition as this will help you in managing care for your loved ones. For instance, if your loved one behaves differently from what you know about him/her, it is likely due to the condition. 

If you face challenges in managing care for your loved ones, use the available resources to help relieve the caregiving stress. Click here to learn more about dementia, and or visit AIC.sg to get dementia-related resources. You can also visit DementiaHub.SG for more information. 

It is important to take care of your own well-being as a caregiver. Caring for loved one is often a long road, hence you would need to take respite from your duties for a more sustainable caregiving journey. If you need support, reach out to the Community Resource, Engagement and Support Team (CREST) in your neighbourhood.  

You can find the CREST locations here.


"4. I am not caring for anyone living with dementia. What are some ways I can help or show my support to a person living with dementia?"

Foo Chen Chin Answer:

You can join one of the 10 Caregiver Support Networks in the Dementia-Friendly Communities to share your caregiving experience and useful tips with fellow caregivers. You can also volunteer with CREST or at dementia care centres in your neighbourhoods.  


"5. You mentioned AIC offers resources for dementia care. How are they involved with Dementia-Friendly Singapore (DFSG), and what is DFSG?"

Foo Chen Chin Answer:

The Dementia-Friendly Singapore (DFSG) initiative was announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in 2016 to address the dementia prevalence in Singapore. Under DFSG, AIC and community partners aim to build caring and dementia-friendly communities and nation to support persons living with dementia through the 3Es (Engage, Empower, Enable) strategy. The desired outcomes are promotion of preventive activities, encourage early identification and provision of care and support. 

With support from individuals, corporates and the larger community, persons living with dementia and their caregivers will feel respected, valued and confident to continue leading independent lives at home and in the community.


"6. Other than DFSG, AIC also provides caregiver support with training such as Caregiver Training Grant. What other support is available to support persons living with dementia and their caregivers?"

Foo Chen Chin Answer:

AIC has developed the HDB 360° Dementia-Friendly Home Guide, which aims to help caregivers in making home modifications for persons living with dementia to live well and comfortably at home. There is also night respite options for caregivers who face challenges in caring for their loved ones at home at night. If you feel stressed as a caregiver, approach the CREST team for advice and service linkage to other forms of support. Community Intervention Teams are also available to help caregivers who face challenges in managing care for their loved ones with dementia. 

Need more information on caregiver support? Call the AIC Hotline at 1800-650-6060 or email us at [email protected]