Public talk on dementia

THE Penang Dementia Association (PDA) will hold a public talk at the New World Park in George Town on Sept 28 in conjunction with its Penang Dementia Day 2019, themed ‘Recognise Me’.

PDA president Datuk Leslie Lee said the talk, which would be opened by state Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh, would be informative to the public in view of the country’s ageing population.

Those interested can just walk in for the talk which will be held from 9am until 1pm.

Lee says the talk is to raise awareness on dementia and to reduce its stigma.

“We hold awareness campaigns, seminars, talks, walks and other events each year to raise awareness and reduce stigma,” said Lee, who is also the president of the D’Home Mental Health Association.

“Most importantly, we provide individuals and families with compassionate care and support through training and workshops.

“At every stage of the disease, we must ensure people with dementia receive appropriate care provided by skilled and well-informed, well-trained professionals and are treated with dignity and respect.”

The speakers are Penang Hospital consultant geriatric psychiatrist Dr Teh Ewe Eow on ‘Let’s Talk About Dementia’ from 10am to 10.30am and Penang Hospital senior occupational therapist Ooi Siew Chen on ‘Keeping the Spirit Alive’ from 11am to 11.30am.

There will also be a forum, titled ‘No Time To Lose’, from 12 noon to 1pm. Consultant geriatrician Dr Alan Ch’ng will be the chairperson with Dr Teh, Ooi, Rosni Hashim, Dr Irene Looi, Mary Wolf and Raymond Chong as the panel members.

Lee said there are over 100 forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease which accounts for the majority (50 – 60%) of cases of dementia. It is a loss of thinking, remembering and reasoning skills.

He said between five and seven per cent of people aged 60 or over are affected by dementia and between 25 and 50 per cent of people aged 85 years and older display symptoms of dementia, more specifically Alzheimer’s.

This month marks the 8th World Alzheimer’s Month since the campaign was launched in 2012.

The World Alzheimer’s Day is on Sept 21 every year.


Story by K.H. Ong