It is heartening to note that Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) has opened a special dementia ward for patients ("No restraint for dementia patients at special ward"; Monday).
Dementia is not easy to cope with as the patients' mental states are unstable and their emotions fluctuate. They are also more prone to falling as they are confused and need someone to care for them on a regular basis.
Hospitals are seeing more elderly patients with dementia, and many family members are at a loss for how to help their loved ones.
Nurses and staff need to be specially trained to better care for these patients and to answer their families' queries.
KTPH could arrange for external vendors to provide entertainment for dementia patients, so they do not feel lonely or bored. Music therapy is a good way of calming them.
More talks and dialogues with various health-care experts could be held to give families more information on the condition and to address their queries.
In short, there needs to be more understanding of the condition and awareness that help is available.
I hope more hospitals have areas for dementia patients to go about their daily routines. Strong family support and medical care are essential for them.
Darren Chan Keng Leong
This article was published on April 24 in The Straits Times.Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.