5 popular caregiver reads for World Alzheimer’s Month

By September 20, 2019 October 14th, 2019 Awareness, Caregiving Tips, Malaysia
To mark World Alzheimer’s Month in Malaysia, we handpicked a few articles to help you understand the condition better, learn how to cope with the impact of caregiving and most importantly, remember that you’re not alone in your journey.
By Sriyani Rao

Did you know that September is recognized as World Alzheimer’s Month? Throughout the month, more effort is undertaken to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds the most common form of dementia—Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s currently impacts more than 50,000 people in Malaysia. In a survey done by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, it is estimated that 1 in 10 Malaysians, aged 60 and above, are diagnosed with dementia. With the rising prevalence of dementia among the aging population in the country, it is important that caregivers are equipped with the right information and support at every stage.

To mark World Alzheimer’s Month in Malaysia, we handpicked a few articles to help you understand the condition better, learn how to cope with the impact of caregiving and most importantly, remember that you’re not alone in your journey.

The difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia

In Malaysia alone, it is reported that about 123,000 individuals were diagnosed with dementia in 2015 and that number is set to triple in the next 12 years.

Dementia is a syndrome, not a disease. While dementia negatively impacts memory, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease of the brain that slowly causes impairment in memory and cognitive function. Younger people can and do get Alzheimer’s but symptoms generally begin after the age of 60. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia can overlap, but there are significant differences. Find out more.

After the diagnosis: 5 ways for young caregivers to cope

One of the 5 ways to cope with the diagnosis is to connect with other caregivers. The ability to be able to express frustration in dealing with the diagnosis without judgment and with people who “get it” is a source of strength for caregivers. As a young caregiver, you would do well to connect with others in Malaysia and exchange experiences to make caregiving a less lonely road. Read up on other ways to cope with caregiving.

“I love my grandma but she’s hard work”

Caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s can be emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting, especially in the later stages. 29-year-old Bobby Tan from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, recalls his childhood with his grandma and shares snippets of her journey battling with Alzheimer’s. Bobby’s story highlights challenges faced by his family in caregiving, the occasional humorous moment, and the importance of not giving up on family. Read about his journey.

Home care or nursing home?

Would you want your loved one to receive dementia care at home? Or would you opt for 24/7 access to medical care and services that a nursing home offers? Many questions and concerns go into making these big decisions; quality of care and cost are some of the main factors to consider. With so much to consider, it can be overwhelming to make a choice. However, keep in mind that it all comes down to ensuring the quality of life for your loved one. Get more insight into dementia home care and nursing homes in Malaysia.

Juggling family, career and caregiving

Do you find yourself torn between priorities: caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s, spending quality time with your family, building a career — and making time for yourself? Even the strongest caregivers need help and support. Here are six ways to get respite, build resilience and find a balance that works for you.

Interested to participate in World Alzheimer’s Month? This September, Project We Forgot (PWF) Malaysia and Homage Malaysia are organizing a free screening of the film, Ninaivirukkum Varai (Till the last memory) followed by post-show dialogue to highlight the journey of dementia and its impact on caregivers. The screening will take place on 26 September 2019 at WeWork in Equatorial Plaza, Kuala Lumpur. Register now to be part of this special event.

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