In Singapore, there is a growing group of people (a few hundred now) who are struck with dementia or Alzheimer’s below the age of 60, commonly referred to as Young Onset Dementia (YOD).
This is a worrying trend because the journey is much longer and the economic burden on the family is a lot higher for someone with YOD compared to someone affected by dementia in their 70s or 80s.
The awareness about dementia in Singapore has definitely increased significantly in the last 6 to 7 years but there is still a lot more to do.
There is still stigma about dementia so persons with dementia and their caregivers are reluctant to share the condition openly with relatives and friends.
I hope that as more people learn about dementia, the stigma will disappear and people with dementia can continue to live with respect and dignity in the community.
While we advocate for persons with dementia, it is also important that we remember their caregivers who need all the support in their long and difficult journey.