SINGAPORE — The Alzheimer's Disease Association (ADA) has been renamed Dementia Singapore to better reflect the agency's wider scope of work.
The new corporate name was launched by President Halimah Yacob in a recorded speech on Wednesday (1 September), which marks the start of World Alzheimer's Month.
Elaborating of the name change, Dementia Singapore chairman Dr Ang Peng Chye said in a media release that it represents more accurately “our area of work as we have been frequently mistaken for supporting people only with Alzheimer’s disease”.
"In truth, we support people living with a wide spectrum of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is just one of them,” said Ang, who founded ADA in 1990.
Dementia describes symptoms such as loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. The medical conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia and frontotemporal dementia.
Together with the name change, Dementia Singapore has also transited into a company limited by guarantee after more than 30 years as an association. It will continue to be a registered charity and Institution of a Public Character, and there would be no change to its charity work.
Four dementia initiatives to be rolled out
With the changes, Dementia Singapore will expand its focus with the launch of four dementia initiatives, which will be rolled out over the course of this year.
These include a one-stop dementia resource portal, a dementia membership programme, a dementia-inclusive business toolkit, and a dementia-inclusive assisted living concept.
President Halimah said in her speech that Singapore’s ageing population means the number of people living with dementia is expected to rise over time.
"It is imperative to plan ahead to improve our capability and capacity for dementia care, and introduce quality programmes to meet the growing demand. At the same time, we need to create a dementia-friendly society,” she added.
“These initiatives are good first steps, and I urge Dementia Singapore to further assess the needs of the dementia community here and work with the government to boost our capabilities to build a dementia-friendly society.”
According to the Well-being of the Singapore Elderly study led by the Institute of Mental Health in 2015, one in 10 people aged 60 and above may have dementia. Locally, there are an estimated 100,000 people in Singapore who have dementia.
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